USDA brings new Federal program to Eastern Kentucky

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky has been selected as one of five states to take part in the Rural Partners Network (RPN).

The RPN is a new federal program that helps rural community leaders navigate federal resources better, by putting Federal liaison officers in those communities.

“We’re looking forward to having two, not one, two USDA staff who are going to be based in Hazard, who will be there to help us navigate the federal government,” said Sandi Curd, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Promise Zone Coordinator.

On Wednesday, Xochitl Torres Small, Under Secretary Of Rural Development for the USDA, held a roundtable meeting with Eastern Kentucky leaders about the program.

“Kentucky was one of five states selected and it was both about some of the need, the persistent poverty and the challenges, but also about the opportunity and the commitment we saw on the ground from local partners,” said Torres Small.

Leaders in Bell, Clay, Fulton, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley counties are encouraged to contact the liaisons about what their communities need.

“Our challenges, it’s persistent, it’s part housing, it’s part education, it’s part jobs, it’s all of those things, if you don’t address it from all angles at the same time, you’re not going to be able to get it to work,” said Curd.

At least two USDA employees will be based in Hazard.

If you’d like more information on the program, you can visit

Copyright 2022 WYMT. All rights reserved.