Rural farm groups opposing Perdue's reorganization of USDA's rural development program

May 18, 2017

Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture

Several farm groups are opposing a reorganization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

As High Plains Journal reports, a coalition of 15 rural organizations including the Center for Rural Affairs and the National Farmers Union called on Congress, through a letter on Monday, to prevent any attempt to eliminate the Rural Development Mission Area, which allows underserved rural communities to be competitive in the national and global marketplace for meeting transportation, infrastructure, high-speed broadband, affordable water, quality schools and public safety needs.

The letter said, in part, that Rural Development programs provide resources and technical assistance for the country's most underserved communities.

Perdue announced on May 11th that the rural undersecretary office would be eliminated and its duties transferred to a special assistant in the office of the secretary. The reassignment would remove Rural Development from the being a core USDA Mission Area and eliminate Congress’s ability to have direct oversight of it.