Perdue writes Aderholt about rural development reorganization plans
December 10, 2018
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has written House Agriculture Committee Chairman Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., about his extensive plans for reorganization of USDA's rural development mission area.
The Hagstrom Report obtained a copy of the letter to Aderholt.
Perdue's plans, according to a Nov. 30 letter, include:
▪ Reorganizing the electric program in the Rural Utilities Service into the Innovative Partnership and Grid Security Division.
▪ Integrating the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, currently delivered by the staff in 47 states, into a single centrally managed unit.
▪ Reorganizing the structure of the direct and guaranteed Community Facilities program in the Rural Housing Service National Office from divisions based on loan programs into divisions aligned with core business functions.
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▪ Realigning Rural Development appraisers, architects, construction analysts, technically qualified support directors, engineers and environmental positions into two new divisions within the Rural Development Business Center: the Appraisal and Architectural Services Division and the Environmental and Environmental Services Division.
▪ Reorganizing the Rural Business-Cooperative Service from a three-tiered structure (business programs, energy programs and cooperative programs) into a two-tiered structure (loan programs and grant programs).
▪ Moving the BioPreferred program from Departmental Administration to the Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
▪ Eliminating the Rural Business-Cooperative Education and Research Branch and its Rural Cooperatives magazine, which ceased publication abruptly in February. Perdue wrote that without the magazine the branch no longer had any function and that its staff of three agricultural economists, one rural sociologist, one secretary, one office automation assistant and one cooperative policy analyst would be moved to the Agricultural Marketing Service while a public affairs specialist would be moved to the Rural Development Office of External Affairs.