By Lucas Ingvoldstad

Earlier this year, USDA Rural Development announced Uprise Fiber received a $27 million grant to expand high-speed internet access in Pershing County.

The expansion project focuses on the City of Lovelock and surrounding areas so that the rural people living there enjoy better access to health care, education, and economic development opportunities.

National Rural Health Day, held November 17th this year, reminds us that a strong community is rooted in its people, and investing in their well-being is an investment in the future. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to serving those who live in the rural areas of this country. At the United States Department of Agriculture, we are hard at work offering the resources to Nevada’s rural and agricultural communities that feed and fuel our nation and provide the everyday essentials upon which America depends.

As State Director for USDA Rural Development, I understand our state’s rural and remote communities have unique challenges when it comes to accessing the resources they need and deserve. Distance is only one barrier.

Our country is experiencing an economic rebirth, and Nevada should not be left out nor behind. The Biden Administration believes it is time to further ensure rural communities thrive.

As such, the Biden-Harris Administration created the Rural Partners Network (RPN). RPN is a testimony of a renewed federal commitment to build capacity and advance equity and prosperity in rural America.

In April, the White House launched the Rural Partners Network in several diverse communities in five states. Now, it has expanded to several more, including to Nevada.

Through this network, USDA RD is leading other federal agencies and working with the White House to make it easier for rural communities to access resources and funding that will create jobs, build infrastructure and support long-term economic stability.

The broad array of programs available to rural areas can be difficult for smaller communities to navigate. The Rural Partners Network is an all-of-government program that meets communities where they are to find the resources that make sense for them.

In Nevada, RPN is expanding to five community networks serving the most rural parts of our state – one of which includes Pershing County.

This means the major high-speed internet expansion with Uprise Fiber is only a recent example of how the federal government can work with rural communities and to address specific needs. We look forward to seeing these communities participate more fully in federal funding and build on their livability and outlook.

In the coming months, expect to see teams from USDA in several communities throughout Nevada. We’ll be meeting with local leaders, working with businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other community members, listening to their needs, and designing futures that build on the unique assets and character of each community.

We want to build more resilient and inclusive communities through place-based strategies that benefit people and their families over generations. This is the kind of result we expect to see from projects like broadband expansion. Not only will it increase access to telemedicine and lead to healthier lives, but businesses will also be better able to compete in a global marketplace, and schools can access diverse distant learning options.

The Rural Partners Network will create opportunities in places like Lovelock and Pershing County and provide a blueprint for how federal agencies can better serve rural communities everywhere.

This work will further expand and ensure rural communities have a voice in policymaking and empower them to get their fair share of federal support and funding.

For additional information on RPN, please visit

A native Nevadan born and raised in Reno, Lucas Ingvoldstad is the Nevada State Director for USDA Rural Development.