Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced Sept. 10 that the USDA is partnering with rural communities to support opportunities for opioid prevention, treatment and recovery.
“With its impact on workforce, quality of life and the economic vitality of rural communities from Maine to California, the opioid epidemic is more than just a matter of public health – it is an issue of rural prosperity,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in planning and building local responses to this monumental challenge.”
USDA is investing $10.7 million in 85 projects in 22 states through the Community Facilities program, with five based in Michigan.
- Burt Township: $121,129 in grants; $35,000 in loans. This Rural Development investment will be used to purchase an ambulance, which will be used to respond to emergencies, including opioid misuse incidents. It will serve more than 500 residents.
- City of Manistique: $47,000 in grants. This Rural Development investment will be used to purchase three cardiac monitor-defibrillators to be installed in community ambulances. The new equipment will improve the response to opioid misuse incidents in a community of nearly 3,100.
- City of Sault Ste Marie: $80,850 grants. This Rural Development investment will be used by the city of Sault Ste Marie for the purchase of an ambulance. The ambulance will improve emergency responses to opioid misuse incidents in Chippewa County and in the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula.
- Missaukee County: $150,000 in grants. This Rural Development investment will be used to improve the emergency dispatch system in Missaukee County. The system will enhance communications to help combat the opioid crisis in the region. The project will serve more than 14,800 residents.
- Sanilac County: $30,146 in grants. This Rural Development investment will be used to purchase computer equipment and a vehicle for Sanilac County Counseling Services. Staff will use the equipment to provide opioid and substance misuse treatment and education throughout the county, and improve service to a population of 2,700.
Along with Michigan, Hazlett announced USDA is making investments in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.
In April 2017, Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities.
In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.