Events RMC Celebrates Anniversary Celebrated 10th Year of Service to the 1.4 million people in 18 rural counties. Published a 10-year retrospective of the Councils work in major policy areas. The Rural Maryland Foundation helped to sponsor this anniversary event in Annapolis which was attended by 450 people including many state leaders.
Events The Annual Rural Summit RMC co-sponsors 7th Annual Maryland Rural Summit in Solomons, Nov. 2004 Provided venue for 230 rural leaders to discuss vital issues and network Continued partnership with rural health practitioners, regional council leaders and many other officials and stakeholders.
Events Cooperative Development Seminars Educated stakeholders about ways to use cooperatives to structure successful projects in agriculture, economic, and community development. Conducted in partnership with the Mid- Shore Regional Council, the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore, the Keystone Development Center, and USDA – Rural Development.
Initiatives & Accomplishments MARBIDCO RMC initiated legislation to fund the Maryland Agriculture & Resource-Based Industries Development Corporation MARBIDCO promotes the viability of agriculture, forestry and seafood industries through enhanced economic development assistance. RMC was designated to be the interim administrator of MARBIDCO.
Initiatives & Accomplishments Strengthening the Well-Being of Rural Maryland Families RMC selected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to distribute $100,000 to eligible rural-serving organizations Six rural agencies selected Working in cooperation with the University of Marylands Department of Family Services (Leader: Bonnie Braun)
Initiatives & Accomplishments RMC Health Care Committee Conducted widely attended public forums on access to pharmaceutical medicine, with MRHA Forums raised public awareness of the high cost of medicines, engaged stakeholders in focused discussions about prescription drug policy, and informed legislative staff who would be affected by changes in the law. Committee also tracked significant health- related legislation. Chairman: Annie Kronk
Initiatives & Accomplishments MAERDAF The Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund Program: A rural grants program administered by RMC in partnership with the Maryland Departments of: Agriculture (MDA) Business & Economic Development (DBED) Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Natural Resources (DNR) Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).
Initiatives & Accomplishments MAERDAF Provides grants from $5,000 to $15,000 to rural-serving nonprofit organizations and community colleges that promote statewide and regional rural planning, economic and community development, and agricultural/forestry education. Formerly MAERDAF was able to make grants to rural nonprofits and community colleges up to a max of $50,000 each.
Initiatives & Accomplishments MAERDAF In FY 2005 the MAERDAF Grants Review Board awarded 14 grants for $148,000. MDA administered 8 grants for agribusiness development and agricultural education (total of $67,000); DBED administered 4 grants for rural development activities (total of $31,000); and DHCD administered 3 grants for rural community development (total of $50,000).
Initiatives & Accomplishments MAERDAF During the five-year life of the program, 73 grants – or nearly $1.4 million – have been awarded. 37 grants (worth $640,000) for agribusiness development, or ag and forestry education. 13 grants (worth $209,000) for rural economic development (non-agricultural). 16 grants (worth $353,000) for infrastructure and community development. 7 grants (worth $177,000) for rural health care access improvement.
Interagency Technical Assistance Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems (ITAC) Committee is developing recommendations on financing small systems improvements, as well as, public awareness and technical assistance issues. Final report due out next month. RMC staff is providing leadership.
Taskforce on Broadband Communications Deployment in Underserved Rural Areas RMC continued to participate in the work of the task force, which was created in 2003 to examine best practices and to expand broadband communications to rural communities throughout Maryland. Rural Regional Councils providing expanded leadership with DBED/TEDCO Interim report released this year; Final report due next summer.
National Recognition The National Rural Development Partnership honored RMC Executive Director Steve McHenry with the 2005 Ron Shaffer Award. The award has been given annually since 2001 to an individual who embodies the values and exercises the collaborative leadership necessary to build national and state rural development partnerships that meet the needs of rural America.
The Year Ahead Continue Ongoing Efforts Including: MARBIDCO Implementation Issue Working Committees Providing the Rural Voice And Furthering the Rural Agenda
2020 Rural Prosperity Investment Initiative (2004) A 15-year strategy to raise the standard of living and promote economic prosperity in traditionally underserved rural communities by providing significant targeted investments in rural economic and community development programs in key rural industry sectors.
2020 Rural Prosperity Advancement Fund (2006) Authorizing legislation for: Rural Regional Council Assistance Rural Entrepreneurship Development Rural Regional Infrastructure Projects Rural Community Development Assistance & Ag Education Rural Research/Program Administration
2020 Rural Prosperity Advancement Fund (2006) Would use the existing MAERDAF structure and interagency board -- No new programmatic infrastructure would be needed (just part of a staffer) Discretionary funding of up to $5 million down the road Separate funding would be provided for MARBIDCO which is already authorized
We Will Continue to... Provide rural representation on statewide issues -- from state land use planning to infrastructure deployment to rural housing and health care. Consult and collaborate with other agencies and organizations whose work affects rural communities. Be prepared to respond to the long-term issues and challenges that lay ahead. And build bridges where possible…..