McCauley Outlines NADO Rural Development Priorities at Senate Hearing

Posted on: February 15th, 2012 by Matthew Chase

NADO Member Mathias (Matt) McCauley of the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments testified on USDA Rural Development issues before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (http://www NULL.ag NULL.senate NULL.gov/hearings/energy-and-economic-growth-for-rural-america) on February 15.  The 2012 Farm Bill hearing focused on energy and economic growth for rural America. (View the full NADO-NACo rural development statement.)

Representing NADO and the National Association of Counties (NACo), McCauley focused his remarks on three key rural development areas:

  • The mission area of USDA Rural Development is a critical piece to the overall competitiveness of rural regions as we work to foster job growth, regional innovation, and economic prosperity.  This includes basic yet essential investments for infrastructure and utilities, housing and community facilities, and access to capital and entrepreneurial development.  In today’s era of intense budget pressures and growing local needs, it is important that we make more strategic investments that strengthen regional and local competitive advantages and coordinate our public sector resources.
  • With rural regions facing increasingly global competition and opportunities, we need to ensure USDA Rural Development has the tools, resources and flexibility to assist rural communities and regions with cutting-edge, asset-based regional innovation strategies and investments.  To be successful in the modern economy, rural entrepreneurs and communities must be connected to global and domestic markets—digitally, institutionally, and physically.  This will take a new level of sophistication and capacity within our rural regions and at USDA Rural Development.  It will also mean improving federal interagency collaboration, fostering stronger public-private-nonprofit partnerships, and leveraging existing strategy processes, such as the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) framework.
  • USDA Rural Development applications, policies, and reporting requirements should be streamlined and broadened to reflect the scale of rural investments, emerging needs and opportunities of rural regions, and capacity of local organizations.  While retaining necessary financial and performance accountability standards, Congress should ensure USDA Rural Development has a modern set of policies, programs, and incentives to help all rural communities pursue community and economic development growth.

View the full NADO-NACo rural development statement.

View the hearing video and hearing statements. (http://www NULL.ag NULL.senate NULL.gov/hearings/energy-and-economic-growth-for-rural-america)

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