Letter urges lawmakers to make Rural Development a “cornerstone” of upcoming Farm Bill; points to cooperative potential

The letter identifies ways federal policymakers can leverage the power of cooperatives to strengthen the economy in rural America. The letter identifies ways federal policymakers can leverage the power of cooperatives to strengthen the economy in rural America. The letter identifies ways federal policymakers can leverage the power of cooperatives to strengthen the economy in rural America. NCBA CLUSA delivered a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill this afternoon that outlines opportunities to revitalize rural America by prioritizing access to capital, infrastructure and innovation when making policy decisions.

Those three areas of focus were identified at last month’s Farm Bill Rural Development Innovation Summit, co-hosted by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), the New America Public Interest Technology team and NCBA CLUSA.

Today’s letter makes policy recommendations for the upcoming Farm Bill based on those priorities.

“The letter identifies ways that federal policy can leverage the history of cooperatives building rural economies, including facilitating technical assistance programs such as the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program and providing incentives for small businesses to convert to cooperatives,” said Doug O’Brien, president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA.

The letter closes by requesting that any additional funding made available during debate over the Farm Bill be directed toward the Rural Development Title.

The American Bankers Association, Center for Rural Innovation, Farm Credit Council, Housing Assistance Council, National Association of Development Organizations, National Center for Resource Development, New America, Rural Coalition, Rural Community Assistance Partnership, and Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) joined NCBA CLUSA in signing the letter.

Read the full letter here.

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