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Regional economic development planning targets rural counties

ALBUQUERQUE – USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner and Dr. Michael Patrick, of New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service announced today the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program is seeking applications from rural communities wanting to strengthen existing regional development efforts. This is part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen rural economies by providing training and technical assistance. Dr. Patrick of NMSU said, “The SET program provides New Mexico’s rural counties and communities with a unique opportunity to grow their economies through regional partnerships.” By becoming a SET region the communities will receive the following support: Twenty-hours of valuable training on the SET program and guidance on ways to strengthen and enhance regional economic development activities; Key data tailored to each region; Tools that can help uncover the variety of assets and resources that exists in that region; Technical assistance and educational support from NMSU Extension educators, RD staff, and appropriate Regional Rural Development Centers for the one-year period of the project; Webinars with the other selected regions in the U.S. To apply for SET Six please write to rd.comments@nm.usda.gov and make a request for an application. Applications are due electronically no later than April 13, 2016 (by 11:59 pm Mountain Daylight Time). Site visits will be scheduled with the strongest applicants by the end of April. Final decisions on the SET Six region will be announced later this summer. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact any one of the following individuals: Terry McDermott, USDA-RD Community Development Coordinator at: Terrence.mcdermott@nm.usda.gov or Michael Patrick, Community Resource and Economic Development Specialist, New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service at jmpat@nmsu.edu

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