The success of the RC&D program depends on local leadership.  Your knowledge, skills, and leadership are key to the programs’ success in addressing rural development opportunities.  As a council member, you are responsible for managing the business of the council, identifying rural development problems and opportunities, and overseeing activities that address rural development issues.

Needs Identification

You are responsible for working with other leaders in your community to identify rural development needs and to communicate those needs to the council.  The council uses this data to develop area plans and annual plans of work.  These plans focus the council’s efforts to help other organizations develop and implement projects that address the most important problems in the RC&D area.  You are also responsible for communicating council activities to your respective board & community to make sure they are aware of, and support, the council’s activities.

Project Development

Through your contacts with other local community leaders, local organizations are identified that will sponsor projects to resolve rural development problems identified in the council’s annual plan of work.  Project sponsors may receive assistance from the council and RC&D staff to plan & develop proposed projects.  A proposed project must first be agreed upon and approved by local RC&D sponsors, and the RC&D council before it can receive RC&D assistance.  You are the liaison between the council, the RC&D sponsors, and the project sponsor, and must work to ensure that everyone understands and supports proposed projects.

Project Implementation

Upon approval of a proposed project, RC&D staff provides assistance to secure the technical and financial assistance needed to implement the project.  Assistance may be provided by other non-profit corporations, for profit corporation, private or public foundations, units of federal, state, or local government, civic organizations, volunteers and other sources.  However, the project always remains the responsibility of the project sponsor.  During implementation, it is very important for you to serve as a liaison between the project sponsor, council, and your RC&D sponsor to keep everyone appraised of progress and to maintain local support for the project being completed.

Program Administration

The Council is responsible for all RC&D actions associated with the program operation and project activities.  This includes, but is not limited to, developing an annual budget, maintaining financial records and reports, providing grant management and administration, revising the area plan, developing the annual plan of work, and developing policies needed to guide a dynamic and successful rural development program.