USDA-SBA partnership makes sense

Keeping the farm economy strong requires that the business communities in the small towns throughout rural also thrive. That’s why a new partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal government’s Small Business Administration is an encouraging development.

On April 4, a memorandum of understanding between the USDA and the SBA was signed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Linda McMahon, administrator of the SBA.

Its goal was an increased collaboration between two federal agencies to promote stronger businesses and economies across rural America.

The partnership has several goals. According to a statement released by the USDA, they include:

• Collaboration to enhanced investment opportunities,

• Identification of ways to increase the positive contributions of the tax law passed by Congress late last year,

• Fostering innovation that will improve rural technical assistance activities and

• Helping rural businesses play a role in enabling more sales of agricultural products internationally.

“Most family farms operate as small businesses, so the collaboration of USDA and SBA makes all the sense in the world,” Secretary Perdue said. “Rural America and our small Main Street businesses must know that the Trump Administration aims to increase prosperity across all economic sectors.”

McMahon similarly expressed her enthusiasm for the arrangement.

“As small business optimism continues to rise, it is important that we work to create a better economic environment for rural America to thrive,” she said. “The USDA and SBA are teaming up to develop actions based on the complementary strengths of the two organizations to promote rural development.”

The Times-Republican applauds this agreement. All too often government agencies fail to identify opportunities to achieve synergies through working together. That the leaders of the USDA and the SBA understand that more can be achieved through joint efforts than by each entity pursuing a separate agenda is a move in the right direction. It deserves praise and encouragement.