Progress Report - Chapter 3


Rural Development

In South Dakota, one community was paying $7,500 to audit a community facility loan that carried a principal payment of just $8,000 a year. In response, the State Rural Development Council worked with the National Rural Development Council to convince the Agriculture Department to waive its audit requirement on smaller loans, saving taxpayers $400 million over the life of these loans. [24]

South Dakota's experience highlights how the National Rural Development Partnership--which includes both the national and state councils--is transforming rural policy as it "breaks down political, geographic, jurisdictional and other boundaries that impede" collective public and private action. Its premise is that "organizations and agencies can neither afford to act independently nor to pursue traditional rural development strategies." [25]

The national council--with senior program managers from over 40 federal agencies and representatives of public interest, community, and private organizations--guides the partnership. The state councils--with representatives from federal, state, and local governments, tribal councils, and the private sector--develop strategic responses to their states' rural development needs.

The partnership is generating success stories in the true spirit of reinventing government. Kansas' council chair, Norma Daniels, for instance, worked with state and federal agencies to create a single loan application for rural entrepreneurs who seek federal or state aid, thus replacing the numerous forms of the past. [26]


Return to Table of Contents