U. S. Department of Agriculture
Rural Utilities Service
From the Desk of Administrator Hilda Gay Legg. . .
Water and waste disposal services, electricity, and telephone, have been
taken for granted in American cities since at least the 1920's. But if
you lived in a rural area only 60 years ago, chances are you went
without these necessities of modern life.
Modern utilities came to rural America through some of the most successful
government initiatives in American history, carried out through the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) working with small towns, rural cooperatives,
nonprofit associations, and for-profit utilities. Today, USDA Rural Utilities Service
(RUS) carries on this tradition helping rural America expand and keep their
infrastructure up to date, helping establish new and vital utility services. The public-
private partnership, which is forged between RUS and the utility industry, results in
billions of dollars in rural infrastructure development and creates thousands of jobs
for the American economy.
Rural America is an integral part of this nation’s economic fabric and
President Bush is committed to programs that create jobs and spur investment and
economic growth. The water and waste disposal projects we fund will provide critical
infrastructure that will help residents and businesses in rural communities, as well as
create jobs and thus more investment in these areas.
The RUS dream is the challenge that is before us today. It is not just about
getting clean water, but it is about getting affordable, clean water into rural areas and
communities. And we cannot lose sight of the fact that it is about the teamwork that it
takes to support rural America. We can't lose sight of the fact that the families at the
end of the line are our customers. They have needs. What are those needs? How can
we dream the dream, create the vision, and then use the strength of teamwork to