Council on Foundations, USDA Announce Partnership for Rural Economic Opportunity

Council on Foundations, USDA Announce Partnership for Rural Economic Opportunity

The Council on Foundations has announced a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address philanthropic concerns in rural communities across the nation.

The agreement establishes a cooperative framework between the two organizations to create new sources of wealth in rural America, identify community assets that can be used to produce economic opportunities, promote new partnerships in workforce investment strategies, and promote a series of joint activities including meetings, webinars, and teleconferences to advance common work.

Announced weeks after Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke at the council's Rural Philanthropy Conference, the agreement will build on the Obama administration's efforts to partner with philanthropic organizations and leverage private capital to create jobs and improve the quality of life in rural America.

"This memorandum represents two important initiatives of the Council on Foundations," said Council on Foundations president and CEO Steve Gunderson. "First, we're absolutely committed to growing philanthropy's role in creating better lives in rural America. And second, at this time of limited resources, public-private philanthropic partnerships can help increase collaboration and impact. This partnership reflects both goals, and we look forward to working with Secretary Vilsack and his team to achieve these goals."