LEXINGTON, KY — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an initiative to give rural communities and regions technical assistance with the goal of creating long-term economic growth plans.

Among the 47 communities receiving assistance through the Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) are 12 Kentucky counties. Those counties are Ballard, Carlisle, Clark, Estill, Fulton, Hickman, Jackson, Laurel, Madison, McCracken, Powell and Rockcastle.

Technical assistance will help the counties support youth retention, assist promotion, infrastructure improvements, increased youth involvement, high-tech industry investment and workforce development, among others.

Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman and McCracken counties will partner with Purdue University Extension and the University of Kentucky’s Community & Economic Development Initiative. The remaining counties will partner with Rural Community Assistance Partnership. The partners will be the ones providing the technical assistance for up to two years to boost the county’s economy.

REDI comes from the USDA Rural Development Innovation Center based on findings found in April 2017. The findings presented to President Donald Trump from the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity learn how to better take advantage of potential growth in rural communities. The report of the findings can be found here.

For more information, on USDA Rural Development, go to their website.