MsRWA bridging the gap between rural Miss communities and USDA


msusdaGREENWOOD, Miss. — On April 4, 2013 Mississippi Rural Water Association Executive Director Kirby Mayfield, Wastewater Technician Larry Bratton, Circuit Rider Tom Abernathy along with Trina George, state director for USDA Rural Development in Mississippi, and a host of USDA staff and partners attended “A day with USDA:  Accessing Opportunities in Rural America” at Leflore County Civic Center in Greenwood, Miss. The event presented by Congressman Bennie Thompson in conjunction with Alcorn State University Extension Service .  This is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “StrikeForce” initiative.

Congressman Thompson welcomed attendees and partners to the event.  He assured the attendees the USDA will do more to partner with local and state governments and community organizations on projects that promote economic development and job creation.  This one day event is a way to increase partnerships in financially challenged Mississippi communities.

Also in attendance was Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, Judy Canales, as she travels the US promoting revitalizing rural America.  Ms. Canales also worked with the USDA during the Clinton administration as well.  Mr. Mayfield took the opportunity to speak with her regarding the MsRWA’s role in assisting municipal and rural utilities in Mississippi.

MS Rural Water Association is a sounding board for many mayors, managers, aldermen, board of directors, and operators across MS.  As our Circuit Riders, Wastewater Technicians, FSA Source Water Technician and Training Technicians travel across MS, they heard mayors, managers and other community leaders voice their opinion on issues facing their communities and utility systems.  They see the USDA loan and grant program, as well as the training and technical assistance provided by the MsRWA as a vital tool.  With the MsRWA’s assistance it allows them the help needed to provide the communities they serve with safe, clean, and affordable drinking water and wastewater.