Chairman of the House Ag Committee's Subcommittee on Rural Development Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., held a hearing reviewing the USDA's rural development programs before the 2012 Farm Bill on Tuesday. Those testifying before the Subcommittee included USDA's Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and rural economic development stakeholders using rural development programs across the U.S.
McIntyre says the hearing provided a good overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the nation's rural development programs given their current resources. Ranking Member Michael Conaway, R-Texas says there are several significant issues with the way programs are being implemented and the hearings presented an opportunity to shed light. With 16 federal agencies administering over 88 programs targeting rural development, Conaway says it's important to stay on top of what USDA is doing to effectively coordinate rural development efforts and use taxpayer funds more efficiently.
Opening statements of witnesses at the hearing can be found at http://agriculture.house.gov.