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For budgetary reasons the Administration has yet to request funding for this program, despite its proven success. Recently USDA and CSA conducted regional small farm conferences around the country, and Secretary Bergland has also lanched a broad small farm policy effort within USDA which will examine methods the Department can take to improve income opportunities in this area. We believe the paraprofessional program can be an excellent complement to the Department's efforts in this area, and are hopeful that the two-year extension provided in this bill will allow USDA to initiate such an effort.

Questions you may consider addressing in your testimony are these:

1.

:

In the absence of passage of H.R. 3580, what will
insure that future rural initiatives or a future
rural policy will be advanced by administrations
who may prove to be less sympathetic to rural
development?

2.

The current Assistant Secretary's Working Group
for Rural Development has been actively involved
in recent "White House Rural Initiatives".
Although the executive order creating the Assistant
Secretary's Working Group selects the Secretary
of Agriculture (Assistant Secretary for Rural
Development) as chairman, much of the leadership
for this effort was provided by the White House
Office of Intergovernmental Coordination. Has
this joint leadership effort between the White
House and USDA proven to be productive or counter
productive? Should chairmanship of the Assistant
Secretary's Working Group remain formally with the
Secretary of Agriculture, or should it be formally
given to the President? What are the advantages
and disadvantages of the current approach?

3.

Is the dual reporting obligation for both a four-
year administration strategy with annual budgetary
reporting a good system? In what ways could it be
improved? What can prevent this effort from turn-
ing into a "cosmetic" approach?

4.

Two major problems faced by rural communities are:

a.

developing local governmental expertise
in identifying and understanding the
complexities of local problems and the
types of solutions which are necessary
and practical, and

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b.

dealing with the federal government
establishment which is too often rigid
and inflexible in program guidelines,
ignorant of the realities experienced
by rural communities, and laden with an
urban orientation or an urban bias in the
program design and objectives pursued for
solution of national problems.

In the absence of passage of H.R. 3580,
how can these problems be better
addressed? Can the capacity of local
communities be improved by the expansion
of Sec. lll envisioned in this bill? How
can local capacity be improved without
Sec. lll, or without passage of H.R. 3580?
Will the policy development process de-
signed in H.R. 3580 help direct rural
policy to a bottom up approach? How can
this effort be improved?

5.

Should the design of Title V rural development
research and extension be improved, and if so how?
How has this program been of assistance to rural
areas? How can these efforts be improved ?

6.

Should the Department of Agriculture request funding for Title V Small Farm Research and Education? In what other ways can the bureaucracy "reach" small farmers, and provide them with more meaningful assistance?

7.

What are the critical elements necessary for a viable national rural development policy? Should agricultural policy be included in the context of a national rural effort?

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Listed below are the organizations that support
The Rural Development Policy Act

H.R. 3580

National Farmers Union
National Farmers Organization
American Agriculture Movement
U.S. Farmers Association
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Rural America, Incorporated
Housing Assistance Council
The National Grange
American Bus Association
New York State Agricultural Society
Tuskegee Institute
National Rural Center
U.S. Catholic Conference
National Governors Association
National Association of Counties
National Association of Regional Councils
American Association of Small Cities
Institute for Cultural Affairs
National Association of State Universities and

Land Grant Colleges
National Association of Conservation Districts
Consortium for Development of the Rural Southeast U.S.
National Rural Development and Finance Corporation
National Congress of American Indians
National Conference of State Legislatures
Interreligious Taskforce on U.S. Food Policy
The Friends Committee on National Legislation
National Association of Farmworker Organizations

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Witnesses:

1.

Hon. Gordon Cavanaugh, Administrator, Farmers Home Administration,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Acc. by: Mr. Allan Brock, Deputy Administrator, Farm and

Family, FMHA, USDA.

Mr. Kenneth Latcholia, Deputy Administrator, Rural
Development, FmHA, USDA.

2.

Mr. Frank Tsutras, Executive Director, Congressional Rural
Caucus.

3.

Mr. Kirk Miller, Amrican Farm Bureau Federation, Washington,
D.C.

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