Rural Prosperity Roundtable Signals A New Era for Our Planet, People in Rural Pennsylvania

On April 23, more than 70 academics, public officials, economic development, and agriculture stakeholders met at Pennsylvania State University’s Behrend Campus in Erie, Pa. The roundtable discussion – Investing in America Rural Prosperity Roundtable –highlighted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to create additional income opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small also highlighted other Biden-Harris Administration efforts to build a stronger, more prosperous rural America through historic investments including the American Rescue Plan Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and Inflation Reduction Act. These investments are about rebuilding our economy from the middle out and the bottom up and creating new opportunities that ensure families, small businesses and family farmers throughout rural America have the opportunities and tools they need to build a good life in the communities that they love.

Among USDA’s local representatives at the event were Bob Morgan, State Director for Rural Development (RD), Heidi Secord, State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Denise Coleman, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist.

Last week was Earth Week and people everywhere are looking for ways to make our world a better place. This includes rural Americans, who thanks to programs like those in President Biden’s historic Inflation Reduction Act, are leading the fight against climate change, while making their communities healthier and reducing their energy costs. USDA is highlighting our partnership with rural communities to sustainably cultivate the future here in Pennsylvania and around the country.

Just like the President, we at USDA believe that every person, no matter where you call home, has a right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in a healthy community—now and into the future. Every single day, we work to ensure these things. And with historic investments like the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve also created new programs to transform rural power production and create good jobs for people in rural areas across the country.

The President’s Investing in America agenda is creating good-paying clean energy jobs, lowering costs, meeting our climate goals, advancing environmental justice and conservation, and strengthening communities that for too long were left behind or left out. The President has given Native Americans a stronger voice in federal affairs, and USDA has built new land stewardship and food harvesting programs based on the knowledge and traditions indigenous people have passed down through generations.

Here in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, USDA will continue to play an important role in all these goals. The investments we’re making will bring wealth and resources to people in rural areas and ensure they have every opportunity to succeed right in their own communities.

USDA is proud to celebrate Earth Week to show how we are investing in locally driven solutions to expand access to renewable energy, clean water and wastewater systems, and essential services that create jobs, build critical infrastructure, and create sustainable futures for rural America. We are committed to unleashing the potential of all rural and Tribal communities to build a secure and successful future for all.

For more information and to contact your local USDA office.

FSA in Pennsylvania:

NRCS in Pennsylvania:

RD in Pennsylvania:

To learn more about biobased products, go to For more information on how the Inflation Reduction Act is enhancing USDA investments in clean energy, visit

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