Enid, OK (January 28, 2008)- Established by the United States Department of Agriculture in the early 1960?s (Public Lay 97-98, Sec. 1528), the program has spread across America helping people and organizations with improving the conditions in their areas. Although the organization was initiated by the USDA, leadership for each RC&D area comes from its locally elected council. There are 375 RC&D areas currently in operation in the United States.
The Resource Conservation and Development Association is an independent, non-profit Corporation. The role of the RC&D is to help local people achieve success with a wide variety of rural development activities. Unlimited in scope, the program is being developed to fit the needs of the residents of the area.
These RC&D Councils are responsible for directing the program at the local level by combining a planning and implementation process which addresses local objectives. Much of the work and the coordination is done by volunteers giving of themselves to better the area they live in. They seek to Make Things Happen to enhance social, economic and environmental conditions in rural areas by finding technical and financial assistance from a variety of sources. RC&D councils assist with natural resource development, reduce chronic unemployment of underemployed and improve economic activities and living standards.
Area plans are implemented as measures are completed. Implementation includes finding sponsors and funds for the measures. RC&D councils have broad authority to implement their area plans and to seek help from the best qualified sources. Some measures might include providing technical information or training to allow a business to relocate or expand; finding funds for rebuilding water supply systems, controlling critical erosion areas or improve fire protection; or arranging for demonstrations of new uses for local resources.
The strength of RC&D Councils is the commitment of local people to solve their own problems. Critical to this commitment is their freedom to find the best sources of help without outside review or approval. They might find technical and financial assistance from federal, state and local governments, local conservation districts, private citizens, non-profit organizations and private industry. Technical assistance may include receiving advice, training and education from technical experts; obtaining direct help in designing area plans and measures; locating sources of funds and building local expertise. Financial assistance may be obtained in grants, loans, contributions and cost-sharing programs.
For more information, visit Wheatland RC&D.