Past President Mazer Testifies on Rural Development

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by NADO Admin

On April 25, Leanne Mazer, Executive Director of the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, and a Past President and Board Member of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), testified before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture, at a hearing designed to review U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development programs.

Read the full NADO written statement.

This was the first of eight hearings by the committee as it prepares to draft its version of the 2012 Farm Bill, which covers commodity, nutrition, conservation, energy, forestry, research, and rural development programs across USDA.

At the hearing, Mazer discussed the importance of USDA Rural Development programs and how they are critical to our nation’s rural and most distressed areas as they work to further develop the fundamental building blocks necessary to be economically viable and competitive.  She also explained how the programs can be improved to increase their effectiveness.

“With rural regions now facing intense global competition, we need to ensure USDA Rural Development has the policies, program tools, and flexibility to assist rural communities with cutting-edge, asset-based regional development strategies and investments.  This will take a new level of sophistication and capacity within our rural regions and at USDA Rural Development,” said Mazer.

“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,” Mazer said.  “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 rural communities pursue regionally-based, locally-driven community and economic development strategies.”

  • Read the full NADO written statement.
  • Witness statements for House Ag hearing on Rural Development (http://agriculture NULL.aspx?NewsID=1572)
  • House process for 2012 Farm Bill (http://agriculture NULL.aspx?NewsID=1227&LSBID=1271)
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