Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture for prioritizing rural communities through its release of a report on streamlining rural programs and making them easier for rural communities to use. The effort consolidates 11 different definitions of "rural" into one, to better target resources for programs that promote rural economic development.
"I commend Secretary Vilsack and USDA for prioritizing rural communities and addressing an issue that has long frustrated small town mayors and other members of rural communities. Under current law, USDA uses 11 different definitions of "rural,' creating red tape and making programs unnecessarily difficult to use. The Senate last year passed a Farm Bill with overwhelming bipartisan support that eliminated the 11 different definitions of "rural' and replaced it with just one. This is a common-sense solution that will help our rural communities and small businesses grow and create jobs."