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Message from the President


Jim Vermeer, NREDA President

The Power of Advocacy

Jim Vermeer, NREDA President Many NREDA members already know about the proposed USDA budget cuts and the negative impacts of the proposed Farm Bill. Although the President's budget has been proposed, Congress can change the outcome of the final budget. Therefore, we all need to remain vigilant, engaged and ready for action to help advocate for rural America.

Although NREDA doesn't lobby, we will advocate for the interests of our membership and those of our allied partners. This year, NREDA agreed to send a letter to President Trump asking him to strengthen America's rural infrastructure. The joint letter focused on the deteriorating infrastructure that jeopardizes jobs, our agricultural competitiveness, and the health of rural families. The letter points out the necessary improvements that must be made to highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors and port facilities. In addition, rural America's economy needs clean water, broadband expansion and an affordable, reliable and secure power supply.

You can find the 2017-18 NREDA Grassroots Advocacy Issues Paper located in the About Us section on NREDA's website. These are board approved issues that NREDA will advocate for on your behalf.

Here are some things you can do to make a difference for rural America:

  • Contact your senators and representatives and let them know how the USDA programs have made a difference in your community.
  • Provide examples of projects that would not have happened without USDA's assistance.
  • Provide totals of retained and new jobs that can be attributed to USDA's programming.
  • Remind them of the need to rebuild our infrastructure and how they can help to improve quality of life for the people they represent.

The power of advocacy comes from the collective voice of our grassroots efforts.

If it's to be, it's up to us. Please help ensure a positive future for rural America.

NREDA Leadership Awards



In recognition of outstanding leadership in the field of rural economic development, the NREDA seeks to honor deserving individuals across America. Nominees may be economic development professionals or rural electric cooperative/rural telephone staff or board members. Nominees are those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in an economic development project resulting in the improvement of the quality of life, creation of new jobs, and opportunity for growth and development in rural America.


Click here for a list of previous NREDA Award winners.



The 2016 Rural Economic Development Leadership Award given to Mike Meissen,
Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines, IA.  Pictured with Mike are
the Iowa area cooperatives who nominated him.
Press Release




2015 Rural Economic Development Leadership Award given to John Bradford,
formerly with Valley Telephone Cooperative Inc., Raymondville, TX



(L to R:) Dennis Mingyar, Awards Chair, Linda Salmonson, 2014 Award
Recipient, Clare Gustin, NREDA President
Press Release




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