RRDC 50th anniversary logo - elevating rural economies since 1972The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) is one of four Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs). The RRDCs, established through the Rural Development Act of 1972, have been building capacity in rural places alongside the nation’s Land-Grant University system for more than 50 years. The Northeast Center was moved from Cornell to Penn State in 1985. The Southern Center is located at Mississippi State, the North Central Center at Purdue University, and the Western Center at Utah State.

The Centers address issues facing rural communities that are often multi-state in scope and require expertise from several disciplines to resolve. Often the Centers work together on rural issues that are interregional or national in scope. Each Center is administered by a joint agreement between USDA and the site institution operating for the Extension Service and the Experiment Station in the region. Major core funding comes from the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and the region’s land-grant universities. Increasingly, other federal and state agencies, private foundations, and public interests contribute funding in support of special programs.

Each Center is guided by their own regional board of directors. Additionally, the Northeast Center and North Central Center are guided by their own regional technical advisory committees; the Southern Center’s program advisory committee operates in much the same manner. 


Two people posing at a conference display
Don Albrecht (left), former Director of the WRDC, and John Green, Director of SRDC, representing the Centers at the RRDC sponsorship booth at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) conference in Indianapolis, IN. Photo credit: Shelly Surber, NCRCRD.
President Richard Nixon signed the Rural Development Act on August 30, 1972. Photo courtesy of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD).