USDA Rural Development Colorado: Inside Your Corner with Director Sallie Clark…
DENVER, CO – February 14, 2019 – USDA Rural Development Colorado and our staff have been working diligently to ensure the needs of our customers are met in a timely manner. We’re also moving full-steam-ahead with our priorities to focus on infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation.
With the approval of the Farm Bill in December, USDA is working quickly and expeditiously to implement this important legislation, which will govern farm policy for the next five years. There are several exciting opportunities on the horizon for Rural Development (RD) and I look forward to sharing those with you over the next few months.
Most recently, USDA RD has ramped up our efforts to create high-speed internet e-connectivity in rural America by announcing our ReConnect program. To allow applicants adequate time to access technical assistance from USDA staff and its partners, the first application deadline has been pushed back to May 31, 2019 or later. Previously, application deadlines began in April. New specific deadlines for ReConnect Program grants, loans, and grant-loan combination applications will be posted in the Federal Register in late February. We will notify interested parties of the new dates once published.
The agency also launched a new toolkit to help support the
deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities. The e-Connectivity Toolkit features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The guide allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources that the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. I encourage everyone to utilize this resource. Broadband is an essential and critical connection to build and maintain healthy economies which include education, healthcare and business prosperity in our rural communities.
And finally, congratulations and a fond farewell to our Assistant to the Secretary (ASEC) for Rural Development, Anne Hazlett. The Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Jim Carroll announced Hazlett as the office’s Senior Adviser for Rural Affairs. In her new role at ONDCP, Hazlett will help shape policy aimed at improving the quality of life in rural America, coordinate interagency efforts on drug control activity impacting rural communities, and build coalitions and grassroots strategies in these areas centered on prevention, treatment and recovery. The entire RD Colorado Team thanks Anne Hazlett for her passion and dedication to addressing the opioid crisis in rural America and know that in her new role she will continue her great work.