July 2013
Farm & Field

A Boost to Rural Economic Growth and Opportunity

23 High Poverty Counties in Alabama Receive $1.75 million

Press Release from the United States Department of Agriculture

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett announced May 24, 2013, that Alabama has received an additional $1.75 million in Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program funding to implement conservation practices in 23 high poverty rural counties in Alabama through USDA’s StrikeForce Initiative. 

“The StrikeForce Initiative is helping us direct additional resources to better serve producers in Alabama’s persistent poverty counties,” said Puckett. “The additional EQIP and WHIP money will allow us to fund the backlog of applications from previous signups in those 23 counties.” 

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack started the “StrikeForce” initiative as a pilot project in 2010 in selected regions in three states: Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi. In 2011, it was expanded to include Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. In 2013, Vilsack announced new efforts to bring the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

Participants in StrikeForce include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, the Farm Service Agency, the Food and Nutrition Service, and other USDA offices and state agencies.

The StrikeForce team will focus on creating jobs, improving quality of life, expanding business and community development, and building partnerships in the following 23 persistent poverty counties in Alabama:

Barbour 
Bibb           
Bullock      
Butler       
Choctaw       
Clarke           
Conecuh     
Crenshaw  
Dallas      
Escambia
Greene   
       
Hale
Lee        
Lowndes
Macon
Marengo    
Monroe    
Perry
Pike
Pickens
Russell
Sumter
Wilcox