Initiatives

Opportunity Zones bring long-term investments to low-income communities, creating economic activity and jobs. Congress created them in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are designated by governors and certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives for private-sector investors to deploy capital into the zones. By investing in Opportunity Zones, investors may defer capital gains taxes if they hold their investments for at least five years. Investors are exempt from capital gains taxes if they hold the investments for 10 years.

Strategic Economic and Community Development is a Farm Bill provision that allows USDA to give priority for projects that support the implementation of regional economic development plans through the following four USDA Rural Development programs:

The Interagency Working Group for Cooperative Development (IWGCD) was established to foster cooperative development and ensure coordination with Federal agencies and national and local cooperative organizations that have cooperative programs and interests. In recognition of the role the cooperative business model plays throughout the U.S. economy, Congress, through the Agricultural Act of 2014, Section 7 USC 1932(e)(12), has directed USDA to take the lead in starting an Interagency Working Group for Cooperative Development.

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), administers the Substantially Underserved Trust Area ("SUTA") provisions of the Food, Conservation & Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill).  The Farm Bill defines trust areas as “trust land” as defined in Title 38 Section 3765 of the United States Code. A “substantially underserved” trust area is a community in a trust area that the Secretary of Agriculture determines has a high need for assistance.

A child's zip code should never determine her destiny; but today, the community she grows up in impacts her odds of graduating high school, her health outcomes, and her lifetime economic opportunities. For kids who do not get an equal start in life, the President is committed to partnering with local leaders to give them proven tools to rebuild and put people back to work.

Rural Development’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative focuses on non-profits and community organizations, both secular and faith based, looking for ways to positively impact their communities by utilizing USDA resources.