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Category: Rural Development

A New Leader At RUS

A New Leader At RUS

Last night I received a “heads up” call before the official notice came out shortly afterwards touting that USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was applauding President Trump’s intent to appoint Kenneth Johnson, current General Manager/CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and President for Co-Mo Connect in Missouri as the newest RUS Administrator.  Johnson started his career in the electric utility industry in Nebraska and is a director and past president for Central Electric Power Cooperative in Missouri, where he has…

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One Last Catch-Up With Rural Utility Leaders

One Last Catch-Up With Rural Utility Leaders

With only a limited number of days left on the calendar for the year, my colleagues in the rural utility industry cleared time off of our schedules to find a common meeting space for lunch so we could compare notes as we wind down with 2017 and head into the New Year. Jim Matheson, head of NRECA (the electric coop association) and Sheldon Peterson, head of CFC/RTFC (a major lender to the rural utilities) and I met up in Tyson’s…

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White House and Rural Prosperity Council Talk Rural Infrastructure

White House and Rural Prosperity Council Talk Rural Infrastructure

Tax reform might be taking up whatever oxygen is actually left on Capitol Hill but today Brian Ford and I headed over to the White House for a meeting on rural infrastructure.    Traffic was light so we made it there with more than enough time to spare so after I dragged Brian for a White House selfie and coo’ed over the security dogs as we made our way through the official visitor’s entrance, that still left plenty of time to…

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Smart Rural Community Field Trip to Maine With Senator and Commissioner

Smart Rural Community Field Trip to Maine With Senator and Commissioner

You can tell that you’re in Maine when most of the traffic on the highway alongside you are caravans of logging trucks!  After a journey across the country on Tuesday night, I knew that my last stop was Portland, Maine because I was the only person boarding the place in the Detroit Metro airport who did not have hiking boots and a backpack on.  I was a tad jealous! Josh Seidemann, our Smart Rural Community (SRC) guru,  and I met up…

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“Make the Dirt Talk”

“Make the Dirt Talk”

What a treat it was on Friday to reconnect with Billy Tiller, former board member for Five Area Telephone Cooperative in Muleshoe, Texas, who served on the board when he was right out of school for 12 years – during some really informative times in this industry. Billy then went on to not only run a large ranch in Texas, but he also started AgPro Exchange, a company that uses data to manage agriculture interests in the 21st Century.  With…

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Hazlett Leads Rural Development and Chats with NTCA Members

Hazlett Leads Rural Development and Chats with NTCA Members

Anne Hazlett was on day 12 on the job yesterday when she swung by the NTCA Government Affairs Committee meeting in Arlington, Virginia to introduce herself to NTCA members and hear some of their stories as they continue their leadership role in bringing broadband to their rural communities. Hazlett has a long career in the rural development having recently served as the Chief Counsel to the Majority on the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry before her…

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Trump Talks Rural Broadband and NTCA Numbers Show a Slowdown

Trump Talks Rural Broadband and NTCA Numbers Show a Slowdown

President Donald Trump traveled to Iowa yesterday and said that expanded access to broadband internet service in rural areas will be part of the infrastructure plan he will submit to Congress, helping to bridge a digital divide that leaves small towns behind. “I will be including a provision in our infrastructure proposal — $1 trillion proposal, you’ll be seeing it very shortly — to promote and foster, enhance broadband access for rural America also,” President Trump said. A small victory of…

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