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Message from the President

Jim Vermeer, NREDA President

Rural Issues

NREDA's Grassroots Advocacy Committee continues to stay abreast with pertinent rural development issues that may affect the vitality of rural America. The committee provides a Grassroots Advocacy Issues Paper each year for your review and use when visiting with your congressional representatives.

With the administration changes happening in Washington, D.C., now is the time to become educated on the issues facing rural America and how you can help influence our lawmakers this year.

In the Issues Paper, the following talking points communicate NREDA's position on rural development issues:

  1. Support rural development programming in the forthcoming Farm Bill
  2. Support for the REDLG program and proposed increases
  3. Opposes the EPA Clean Power Plan as currently designed
  4. Support for increased funding for transportation infrastructure
  5. Support for continued funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  6. Support for continued federal funding for broadband-capable infrastructure
  7. Concern about the effects that the EPA's proposed "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) will have on rural development
  8. Affirms that it encourages the involvement of the utilities sector in rural economic development efforts
  9. Recognizes that biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard have a significant impact on rural America and contribute to our country's energy security and independence
  10. Recognizes that the Threatened and Endangered Species Act affects rural development

View an expanded narrative of the Grassroots Advocacy Issues Paper.

We depend on you to keep us abreast of the issues that face rural America. NREDA will do our best to advocate for common issues that impact our membership. This coming May, the board and committee chairs will visit our allied partners to strengthen our partnerships and express some of the unified concerns listed in the Issues Paper.


Association Documents - Click here to view documents.
It is the policy of this organization to provide in a timely, accurate, and transparent manner, public records, to both members and the general public in accordance with federal and state law regulations. Please contact NREDA Headquarters at (515) 284-1421 or

The NREDA Grassroots Advocacy Committee is responsible for monitoring federal legislation that may have an impact on economic development in rural America and keep the Board apprised of this legislation. This monitoring will include developing and maintaining relationships with the legislative staffs of affiliated organizations such as NTCA, NRTC, NRECA, NADO and CFC. The Committee has developed an issues paper that defines key areas of recognition or support for rural development. View the 2017-2018 NREDA Grassroots Advocacy Issues Paper to learn more.

The National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) was formed to promote rural development opportunities through electric and telephone cooperatives. At the time of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), cooperatives had been a long time advocate of marketing rural locations as a competitive and low cost alternative for business investment. The creation of a national organization, structured to coordinate recruitment resources would provide all members a greater presence to corporate America.

In 1988, a handful of cooperative members responsible for economic development, met in Platte City, MO, to evaluate this idea and its many benefits. In the spring of 1989, NREDA was formally organized, and later that year held the first member meeting in Washington, DC. The next year, Nashville, TN served as the conference city for the first annual meeting, attracting over 300 attendees. From that small beginning, NREDA had matured into a professional organization providing members valuable assistance with their economic development, key account management, community development, infrastructure development, or other rural development programs.

Submitted by NREDA member: Mark Woodson, CED, CKAE
Associated Electric Co-op, Inc., Springfield, MO

"Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow -- 25 Years of Contributing to Rural America"
-- 1989 - 2014

Kick-Off Video
In recognition of outstanding leadership in the field of rural economic development, the National Rural Economic Developers Association honors deserving individuals across America.

The NEW Organization award(s) is designed to recognize utility/economic development organization or associations/government entities that have implemented a successful rural economic development program for their area. Focus will be on the success of communicating the program, improvements to the business climate, and measurable results and outcomes.

NREDA | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway | Ankeny, IA 50023 | Phone: (515) 284-1421 | Fax: (515) 334-1174