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What is RC&D? (Resource, Conservation and Development).

Over 40 years ago, Congress established a unique program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that empowered rural people to help themselves. The USDA focus was to assist local people by providing tools and technical support to stabilize and grow their own communities while protecting and developing natural resources. To carry out the RC&D concept, diverse groups of local volunteers (The RC&D Council) are brought together in a unique partnership to find solutions to their problems. Local people are best able to determine needs and create solutions for their Community. The focus on local direction and control has made RC&D one of the most successful rural development programs of the Federal Government. The focus of the program provides for the sustainability of local economies and resources.

How Does RC&D Work?

RC&D is not an agency. It's a council of local citizens that represent farmers, businesses and units of government to coordinate economic development project in primarily rural areas. RC&D areas are multi-county in scope and led by a citizens group called council, board of directors, or executive committee. Council members represent official sponsoring organizations, however, they can develop task forces and working group composed of technical specialists and other interested in individual projects. The Natural Resource Conservation Service, (RNCS), an agency known for its partnerships with local communities, administers the program for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NRCS provides a coordinator, and gives other support for each RC&D area. But, it is the local council or directors that make each RC&D area unique.

How is RC&D Funded?

Most councils are nonprofit corporations that have authority to seek help from sources that are qualified to provide assistance. This help may be technical assistance from USDA agencies, state or local governments, local conservation districts, or private industry. It may be financial assistance in the form of donations, loans, grants, or cost-sharing arrangements for projects.

Articles on this page are provided in part by: Stacy Cramer

Let RC&D Help You


Wildlife Enhancement

New Businesses

More Community Jobs

Natural Resources Development

Grant Assistance

Watershed Planning

Leadership Training

Community Development

Tourism Promotion

Event Planning

Community Support


What Does RC&D Do?


Community Development


Establishes and improves community services, facilities, and infrastructure. Prepares feasibility studies; creates or improves recreational areas; and develops, improves, and promotes historic sites and tourist attractions. Encourages the best use of forest lands and resources; and creates and expands forest-related industries. Focuses on expanding markets and creating jobs.


Water Management


Protect and enhances ground water supplies; and improves water quality, waste management, and flood control.


Land Conservation


Protects the resource base and finds the best ways to use it. Includes projects such as mine reclamation and controlling soil erosion and weeds.


Environmental Enhancement Projects


Conserves energy creates and improves fish and wildlife habitat; develops and improves wetland habitat; and uses waste safely.


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Darryl Anthony Design

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 OKLAHOMA ASSOCIATION OF RC&D COUNCILS, INC.

OARC&DC meeting will be January 27, 2015

at 10:00am at the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives building on 2325 E-I44 Service Rd in Oklahoma City


Links:OARC&DC Minutes 10-21-2014

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, and familial status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)


To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

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