USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner
- National Program Provides Economic Development Assistance in Rural Areas
USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner announced today the selection of the East Central New Mexico region to participate in the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program.
The SET program is joint initiative between the Western Regional Rural Development Center at Utah State University, New Mexico State University (NMSU) Cooperative Extension and USDA Rural Development to provide assistance in community and economic development planning.
The East Central SET is the latest New Mexico project chosen to participate in this economic development planning initiative. The project will include the counties of Guadalupe, Torrance, Quay and De Baca. USDA Rural Development and NMSU will team with representatives from each county to develop and implement a regional economic development strategy.
In making the announcement Brunner said, “The success of developing better economic opportunities and creating more jobs in rural America has a better chance when everyone works together to reach a common goal, and that’s what the SET program intends to do.”
The SET program examines the critical areas of the economy to determine if that particular region might hold a competitive edge in the domestic and/or the international marketplace. The technical assistance and educational support for the region will come from NMSU Extension educators, RD staff, and appropriate Regional Rural Development Centers for the one-year period of the project.
The goal of the SET program is to implement an economic development plan in the SET region in six to seven months. The plan will be designed to:
- Develop a model for action and accountability
- Design leadership structure appropriate for regional plan implementation
- Identify technical assistance needs for success
- Secure resources needed for success
The other areas of the state that were awarded a SET Program status during the last three years are:
- Middle Rio Grande Economic Development Association- MRGEDA- Socorro, Catron, Sierra and Valencia
- Northeast Economic Development Organization – NEEDO – Colfax, Union, Mora, Harding, San Miguel, Quay and Guadalupe counties.
- North Central Tribal Groups SET- Tesuque, San Ildefonso, Picuris
- South Central Mountains Economic Development Assn. – SCMEDA- Lincoln and Otero counties and the Mescalero Apache reservation
- Trail of the Ancients – San Juan, McKinley Cibola Counties
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investments and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.