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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 President's Award



The President's Award recognizes an individual's dedication and leadership to Rural America and the National Rural Economic Developers Association, as evidenced by a commitment of unending time, talent and expertise, and a vision for rural economic growth. This Award is selected by the current NREDA President and can be presented to multiple recipients within a given year.

NREDA Awards history of recipients

Anschutz Receives 2016 President's Award

2016 President's Award presented to Mendi (Alexander) Anschutz (right) for her
work on NREDA's publication, website and communications efforts by President
Trista Fugate (left). Press Release


Silvius (right) Receives 2015 President's Award from Rand Fisher (left)

2015 President's Award given to Newsletter Editor, Shawnna Silvius, iShine
Productions LLC, Nebraska, NE (right) and Dana Baker, GVNW Consulting Inc.,
Colorado Springs, CO (not pictured).


Gustin Receives 2014 President's Award

John Padalino, (former) Administrator for Rural Utilities
Service, USDA Rural Development and 2014 NREDA
President's Award recipient with President Clare Gustin.
Press Release





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