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Sallie Clark appointed to USDA position

       Former El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, a Westside resident and business owner, is the new Colorado director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development office.

Still a County Commissioner at the time, Sallie Clark speaks in December 2016 at the groundbreaking for the Westside Avenue Action Plan.
Westside Pioneer file photo

       Her appointment by the Trump administration took effect in November. She works out of Denver.
       Her office, which she describes as “nonpartisan,” had a budget of about $750 million in 2016.
       So far Clark has found the work rewarding, she said. “It makes you feel good to help these struggling rural counties and find a way to reach out to build more relationships with them.”
       Although there has been some uptick from what's been called the Great Recession, “the economy has not really recovered in rural areas,” she summarized. “They don't have deep pockets to reach down into.”
       Typically partnering with local governments and organizations, Rural Devel-opment agencies around the country use loan programs - as well as some grants - to help needy, non-urban areas in ways such as infrastructure, rental assistance and business growth.
       One program even seeks to help military veterans learn to become farmers, she said.
       Clark served on City Council from 2000 to 2002 and on the Board of County Commissioners from 2005 to 2017.

Westside Pioneer article