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Friday, May 14, 2010

An Overview of USDA Rural Development Programs

Tadlock Cowan
Analyst in Natural Resources and Rural Development

More than 88 programs administered by 16 different federal agencies target rural economic development. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the greatest number of rural development programs and has the highest average of program funds going directly to rural counties (approximately 50%). The Rural Development Policy Act of 1980 designated USDA as the lead federal agency for rural development. The Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agricultural Reorganization Act of 1994 created the Office of the Undersecretary for Rural Development and consolidated the rural development portfolio into four principal agencies responsible for USDA's mission area: the Rural Housing Service, the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, the Rural Utilities Service, and the Office of Community Development. 

Beginning with the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161), funding for the three Rural Community Advancement Program (RCAP) accounts is reported under their respective administering agencies, the Rural Housing Service, the Rural Business Service, and the Rural Utilities Service, respectively. 

This report provides an overview of the various programs administered by the four USDA agencies, their authorizing legislation, program objectives, eligibility criteria, and FY2005- FY2010 funding for each program.

Date of Report: May 3, 2010
Number of Pages: 41
Order Number: RL31837
Price: $29.95

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