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|Release No. Pending|
|USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-7623|
|USDA Announces New Agreement to Promote Additional Investment in Rural America|
|Agreement with The Council on Foundations Encourages Increased Economic Opportunities|
DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 19, 2011—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA has signed an agreement with the Council on Foundations to provide new sources of capital, new job opportunities, workforce investment strategies, and identification of additional resources that can be used to spur economic growth in rural America. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding builds on meetings the Secretary had last month during the Council on Foundations Rural Philanthropy Conference in Kansas City, Mo., where he called on representatives the philanthropic community to “Step up, take risks, and work creatively create jobs, improve the quality of life and make an impact on rural America.” The Secretary made the announcement today while hosting a White House Rural Forum at the Iowa State Fair.
“This partnership sets a path to greater economic opportunities for rural communities by ensuring a better use of resources,” Vilsack said. “Under the Obama Administration, USDA is partnering with philanthropic organizations to effectively leverage funds to improve the quality of life and create jobs in rural America. Working together, the government and its partners will boost the effectiveness of efforts to create economic opportunity in communities and regions of our Nation that need support.”
The MOU provides for a survey of existing programs and investments that further economic opportunities; linking of resources that are complementary; and coordination on common agendas and projects. It is intended to:
Vilsack noted that the Obama Administration is working to ensure that rural Americans have access to basic services and businesses have the tools they need to compete, expand and create jobs, and while the government can provide crucial assistance, more can be done if the government more effectively partners with the philanthropic community and the private sector.
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