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Message from the President

Jim Vermeer, NREDA President

The Power of Advocacy

Jim Vermeer, NREDA President Many NREDA members already know about the proposed USDA budget cuts and the negative impacts of the proposed Farm Bill. Although the President's budget has been proposed, Congress can change the outcome of the final budget. Therefore, we all need to remain vigilant, engaged and ready for action to help advocate for rural America.

Although NREDA doesn't lobby, we will advocate for the interests of our membership and those of our allied partners. This year, NREDA agreed to send a letter to President Trump asking him to strengthen America's rural infrastructure. The joint letter focused on the deteriorating infrastructure that jeopardizes jobs, our agricultural competitiveness, and the health of rural families. The letter points out the necessary improvements that must be made to highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors and port facilities. In addition, rural America's economy needs clean water, broadband expansion and an affordable, reliable and secure power supply.

You can find the 2017-18 NREDA Grassroots Advocacy Issues Paper located in the About Us section on NREDA's website. These are board approved issues that NREDA will advocate for on your behalf.

Here are some things you can do to make a difference for rural America:

  • Contact your senators and representatives and let them know how the USDA programs have made a difference in your community.
  • Provide examples of projects that would not have happened without USDA's assistance.
  • Provide totals of retained and new jobs that can be attributed to USDA's programming.
  • Remind them of the need to rebuild our infrastructure and how they can help to improve quality of life for the people they represent.

The power of advocacy comes from the collective voice of our grassroots efforts.

If it's to be, it's up to us. Please help ensure a positive future for rural America.


Association Documents - Click here to view documents.
It is the policy of this organization to provide in a timely, accurate, and transparent manner, public records, to both members and the general public in accordance with federal and state law regulations. Please contact NREDA Headquarters at (515) 284-1421 or

The NREDA Grassroots Advocacy Committee is responsible for monitoring federal legislation that may have an impact on economic development in rural America and keep the Board apprised of this legislation. This monitoring will include developing and maintaining relationships with the legislative staffs of affiliated organizations such as NTCA, NRTC, NRECA, NADO and CFC. The Committee has developed an issues paper that defines key areas of recognition or support for rural development. View the 2017-2018 NREDA Grassroots Advocacy Issues Paper to learn more.

The National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) was formed to promote rural development opportunities through electric and telephone cooperatives. At the time of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), cooperatives had been a long time advocate of marketing rural locations as a competitive and low cost alternative for business investment. The creation of a national organization, structured to coordinate recruitment resources would provide all members a greater presence to corporate America.

In 1988, a handful of cooperative members responsible for economic development, met in Platte City, MO, to evaluate this idea and its many benefits. In the spring of 1989, NREDA was formally organized, and later that year held the first member meeting in Washington, DC. The next year, Nashville, TN served as the conference city for the first annual meeting, attracting over 300 attendees. From that small beginning, NREDA had matured into a professional organization providing members valuable assistance with their economic development, key account management, community development, infrastructure development, or other rural development programs.

Submitted by NREDA member: Mark Woodson, CED, CKAE
Associated Electric Co-op, Inc., Springfield, MO

"Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow -- 25 Years of Contributing to Rural America"
-- 1989 - 2014

Kick-Off Video
In recognition of outstanding leadership in the field of rural economic development, the National Rural Economic Developers Association honors deserving individuals across America.

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