While poverty is a rural, suburban and urban challenge, the reality is that nearly 85 percent of America's persistent poverty counties are in rural areas. USDA's StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative is part of our commitment to growing economies, increasing investments and creating opportunities in poverty-stricken rural communities. StrikeForce was officially launched in 2010 as a pilot project in persistent poverty areas in rural Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.
In 2012, StrikeForce efforts expanded into persistent poverty counties in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. In 2013, Secretary 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. In 2014, Strike Force efforts expanded into Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia. There are now over 700 persistent poverty counties, parishes, boroughs, Colonias and tribal reservations in twenty states receiving StrikeForce attention.
Since its inception, StrikeForce has formed over 400 community based partnerships and supported 80,300 projects and opportunities to strengthen America's rural economy.
Learn more about how StrikeForce is encouraging growth and creating opportunity and how you can get involved.