The roots of the title can be traced to Franklin Roosevelt's post-Depression efforts to rebuild the country, but a bipartisan title wasn't included in the Farm Bill until 1972. "This was a watershed event," Collins writes. "It was an effort to bring together diverse programs that helped rural areas and moved rural development under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture." The title was also a shift from the War on Poverty, which focused mainly on urban areas, to "a more clearly defined" rural development policy, Collins writes.
writes in "The Nixon Administration Through Passage of the Rural Development Act of 1972."
The 1972 Farm Bill included loans for commercial and industrual development in rural areas; insured and guaranteed loans, instead of direct federal loans, to press the private sector into playing a role in rural development; cost-sharing provisions; and, improvements in the administrative machinery of the Farmers Home Administration. Rural Development became a named section of USDA. (Read more)
Collins reports the USDA is taking "particular pains to tell its story and point out where its Rural Development programs are working" because the title is struggling under budget cuts and has been threatened with more. To learn more about the "success stories," click here.