February 4, 2015

Planning lays groundwork for Strike Force

By ALLAN TINKER

"USDA is focused not just on places where there has been prosperity recently in rural areas, but also focusing on trying to address the challenge of persistent poverty. - USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack."

With the McClusky City Council members in full force to hear plans for a strategic planning program, Alisa Dahl, Area Director for Rural Development for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) presented a thorough overview of what lay ahead.

With many other evaluations and assessments done in other Sheridan County areas, this was the latest and just for the city of McClusky. The work done by the city will be able to be combined with the information for interested individuals and entities at the upcoming StrikeForce meeting on Tuesday February 10 at McClusky Community Room at 9 a.m.

Website information on StrikeForce is as follows:

"USDA identifies census tracts with over 20 percent poverty (according to American Community Survey data) to identify sub-county pockets of poverty. As areas of persistent poverty are identified, USDA staff work with state, local and community officials to increase awareness of USDA programs and help build program participation through intensive community outreach.

"Since 2010, through StrikeForce, USDA has partnered with over 400 community organizations, businesses, foundations, universities and other groups to support 80,300 projects and ushered more than $9.7 billion in investments into rural America, including:

"The Farm Service Agency saw a 14 percent increase in the total direct farm loan applications received in StrikeForce areas since the beginning of the initiative.


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