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Note: This topic page may contain material that has not yet been updated to reflect the new Farm Act, signed into law on February 7, 2014. ERS has published highlights and some implications of the Act’s new programs and provisions. Sign up for the ERS Farm Bill e-newsletter to receive notices of topic page updates and other new Farm Bill-related materials on the ERS website.

Rural America is diverse, with different places facing different conditions. Consequently, rural communities adopt a wide array of development strategies that address their particular needs.

Local and regional strategies often draw on funding from Federal and State governments. Rural development policy at the Federal level is therefore concerned with how to allocate rural development program funding to meet local needs and Federal policy objectives.

ERS research in this area covers both traditional and nontraditional strategies, and the main components of such strategies:

  • Infrastructure improvement,
  • Business assistance,
  • Education and training,
  • Community development.

ERS research also examines the pattern of Federal funding to rural areas and its implications for rural development.

We've redesigned our website. You may be interested in browsing the material that was available in the Rural Development Strategies briefing room, which is now in our archive. It included a readings list and related links list.

Last updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

For more information contact: John Pender