Updates from Around the Country 

Recent Highlights of Partners for Rural America and
State Rural Development Councils



  • Held annual conferences in Vermont (2013), Wyoming (2014), Virginia (2015), Arizona (2016), Maryland (2017), and Utah (2018) attended by most of the active Councils to conduct organization business, plan for the future and learn from successful initiatives of the host SRDC and each other.


  • At its board meetings in alternate months had presentations by outside experts including Lillian Salerno, USDA Deputy Under Secretary; Bonnie (Hildreth) Gettys, President/CEO of Barry (Michigan) Community Foundation; Doug O’Brien, White House Domestic Policy Council; Lucy Johnson, Deputy Assistant Secretary at U.S. Department of Education; Brian Gibbons and Lynn Chadwick, National Telecommunications and Information Administration; Dan McGranahan, USDA Economic Research Service and Liz Sosa of Public Square Communities.


  • Representatives of SRDCs continue as active participants in the State Rural Policy Initiative to assemble and recommend best practices, help implement rural research and build a coordinated rural development approach.


  • Most all SRDCs continue to sponsor or are active participants in annual rural policy summits and conferences to call attention to rural needs and successes and build collaboration to address rural challenges.


  • Reaffirmed Partners for Rural America nonprofit corporation status with the District of Columbia and tax exemption from federal income tax with IRS.


  • Submitted a request to USDA for recognition of sixteen State Rural Development Councils who meet the criteria under the Farm Bill.


  • Acknowledges the efforts of SRDCs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho to advance and enhance initiatives across state lines, eliminate impediments, share expertise and seek new opportunities for rural progress with funding assistance from USDA.


  • Continues efforts to update and expand the Partners for Rural America website.


  • PRA changed its official address to that of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, P.O. Box 1384, Montpelier, VT 05601 and moved its banking to Community National Bank in Montpelier.


  • PRA commends Chris Marko, Co-Chair of Oregon Rural Development Council, for his service on the Board of the Community Development Society.


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