Be the first to like this
UA’s Future: Creating Success for Our People and Our State
Dr. James R. Johnsen, President, University of Alaska
The best way to think of USDA Rural Development (RD) is as a bank. In fact, with a loan portfolio of over $200 billion, we would be the 8th largest bank in the U.S. But, as opposed to a commercial bank, we do not have a profit motive. Our mission is to promote the economic well-being and quality of life in rural communities. We use our lending authority (and some grants) to deliver critical infrastructure such as electricity; telecommunications; water, sewer and solid waste facilities; housing; community facilities such as hospitals and police equipment; and business development to help rural communities thrive economically. Under this administration, RD has been focused on community economic development (CED) in which our field staff works in closer proximity with organizations pursuing specific development strategies for a community or region. We do not claim to be experts in CED, but seek to partner with development organizations, universities, and others working with community members to promote realistic and sustainable development objectives. We want to be sure the federal dollars we administer have the greatest positive impact on rural America.
Jim Nordlund, Alaska Director, USDA Rural Development