This opinion column was submitted by Lucas Ingvoldstad, Nevada State Director for USDA Rural Development.
Earlier this year, USDA Rural Development announced that Uprise Fiber had received a $27 million grant to expand high-speed Internet access in Pershing County. The expansion project focuses on the City of Lovelock and surrounding areas to provide rural residents with better access to healthcare, education and economic development opportunities.
National Rural Health Day, taking place on November 17th this year, reminds us that a strong community is rooted in its people and that investing in its well-being is an investment in the future. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to serving those who live in the rural areas of this country. At the United States Department of Agriculture, we work hard to provide Nevada’s rural and farming communities with the resources that feed and propel our nation and provide the everyday necessities that America depends on.
As USDA State Director for Rural Development, I understand that our state’s rural and remote communities face unique challenges when it comes to accessing the resources they need and deserve. Distance is just a barrier.
Our country is experiencing an economic rebirth, and Nevada should be neither left out nor left behind. The Biden administration believes it’s time to continue making sure rural communities thrive.
That’s why the Biden-Harris administration created the Rural Partners Network. RPN is a testament to renewed federal commitment to building capacity and promoting justice and prosperity in rural America.
In April, the White House launched the Rural Partners Network in several different communities in five states. Now it has expanded to several more, including Nevada.
Through this network, USDA RD directs other federal agencies and works with the White House to improve rural communities’ access to resources and finance that create jobs, build infrastructure, and support long-term economic stability.
The wide range of programs available to rural areas can be difficult for smaller communities to navigate. The Rural Partners Network is an intergovernmental program that meets communities where they need to find the resources that make sense to them.
In Nevada, RPN is expanding to five community networks serving the most rural parts of our state – one of which includes Pershing County. That means the major rollout of high-speed internet with Uprise Fiber is just one recent example of how the federal government can work with rural communities and address specific needs. We look forward to seeing these communities participate more in federal funding and building on their quality of life and prospects.
Expect teams from USDA in multiple communities across Nevada in the coming months. We will meet with local leaders, partner with businesses, nonprofits and other community members, addressing their needs and shaping a future built on the unique assets and character of each community.
We aim to build more resilient and inclusive communities through place-based strategies that benefit people and their families for generations. We expect such results from projects such as broadband expansion. Not only will it increase access to telemedicine and lead to healthier lives, but companies will be better able to compete in a global marketplace and schools will be able to access various distance learning options.
The Rural Partners Network will create opportunities in places like Lovelock and Pershing County and provide a blueprint for how federal agencies can better serve rural communities everywhere. This work will continue to expand, ensuring that rural communities have a voice in policy making and empowering them to receive their fair share of government support and funding.
Visit Rural.gov for more information on RPN.
Lucas Ingvoldstad, a Nevada native who was born and raised in Reno, is the Nevada State Director for USDA Rural Development. Ingvoldstad’s professional experience includes public policy, public affairs, legislative relations, stakeholder engagement and business development. Ingvoldstad previously served as senior director of government and external affairs for a utility-scale renewable energy developer focused on solar, wind and battery storage projects across Mountain West. He has also served as senior advisor to US Majority Leader Harry Reid. Ingvoldstad enjoys spending time with family, is an avid cyclist and enjoys being outside, gardening and cooking.
Say with:How to submit an opinion column or a letter to the editor