Rural Library Sustainability Program
Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture: http://www.ers.usda.gov/ is the premier American agency providing an enormous amount of data for individuals who wish to understand the factors contributing to all things that are rural. Its publications "Rural America" (formerly "Rural Development Perspectives) are required readings for understanding the socio-economic conditions in rural areas.
The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture: Best known as "Cooperative Extension," http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/ is a vital resource in most of the counties of the United States in relation to its activities, research, and community involvement. It is also a natural ally for the local library. Its "Journal of Extension" provides vital reading to all who are interested in the ever-changing rural environment.
The Regional Centers for Rural Development: Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, the Southern Rural Development Center, the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, and the Western Rural Development Center