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Ranking Member Stabenow Applauds New USDA Policy Prioritizing Partnerships for Regional Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, applauded Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement that USDA will begin implementing a new Farm Bill policy making it easier for small towns and rural communities to come together to compete for federal grant funding.  The new Regional Development Priority (RDP) policy was included in Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill.

“Michigan’s small towns and rural communities understand the importance of working together toward shared success – whether revitalizing Main Street or creating new jobs,” Ranking Member Stabenow said. “It was those partnerships that served as the model for this program in the 2014 Farm Bill. Now, USDA can help other rural communities come together and be competitive when applying for federal grants by incentivizing partnerships around regional development.”

According to USDA, the new policy will apply to four key rural development programs: the community facilities program, the business & industry loan guarantee program, water and environmental program, and the rural business development grant program.