KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Forty-seven rural communities and regions will receive technical assistance to help with long-term economic development plans.
Of those communities, 12 Kentucky counties will receive assistance, including: Ballard, Carlisle, Clark, Estill, Fulton, Hickman, Jackson, Laurel, Madison, McCracken, Powell and Rockcastle Counties.
According to the USDA, each of the communities and regions will be paired with partner organizations to provide free technical assistance for up to two years to help rural towns and regions with development plans.
USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to these partners in September 2018. The agreements will help the partners finance the free technical assistance.
Those partners include Purdue University Extension, University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership.
In April 2017, President Donald Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to determine policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities.
USDA is providing the assistance through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation.
The REDI initiative was developed by the USDA Rural Development Innovation Center to support recommendations identified in the report to the President.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This includes infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.