In an announcement Monday morning, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue has released a one-stop shop of rural federal programs – a resource guide whose purpose is to help rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19. This program The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls this effort “a first-of-its-kind resource for rural areas”, for ranchers, producers, rural communities and rural-based businesses, intended to address the economic impact of the pandemic.
Purdue credited President Donald Trump for the quick rollout. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities preparing for and impacted by COVID-19,” said Perdue. “This resource guide will help our rural leaders, whether they are in agriculture, education, health care or any other leadership capacity, understand what federal assistance is available for their communities during this unprecedented time.”
The eight-page overview includes dozens of program links ranging from the Farm Loan Discovery Tool to the USDA Rural Development ReConnect program, Food Finder: Connecting Families to Feeding sites and The USDA Farm Service Agency Microloan program. It does appear that the resource document includes links to other federal programs included elsewhere, such as with the Small Business Association; but the repetition is probably necessary given the confusion and concern caused by the current economic crisis.
Purdue says that the USDA is taking immediate actions to assist rural communities, businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these actions, visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus.