Former Nebraska State Senator Kate Bolz assumed her new role last week as Nebraska’s director of rural development for the United States Department of Agriculture. Bolz was appointed by President Biden to lead USDA grants and loans in Nebraska.
Kate Bolz said her experiences growing up in rural southeast Nebraska prepared her for the position of state director at the United States Department of Agriculture.
“I’m still part of our family farm in Otoe County,” Bolz said, “[and] I still have great memories of sheep, cows and pigs as a 4-H and FFA kid, and I still have a heart for small rural communities.
Bolz was previously a state senator for part of Lancaster County and a member of the state appropriations committee. The Nebraska Wesleyan graduate ran as a 2020 congressional candidate for the greater Lincoln area and most recently worked in the state capitol mayor’s office.
In her current role, Bolz said she plans to address all three of the Biden administration’s focus areas, including climate change, during her time at USDA.
“During my tenure as a state senator, I supported the ‘Water for Food Institute’ which is an expert institute here at the university that thinks about how we use our land and water resources in [the] in the face of climate change,” Bolz said. “So I really respect this work and I’m happy to pass it on to the USDA.”
According to Bolz, promoting equity in opportunities for diverse rural communities and creating a better agricultural market will be other targeted issues she plans to address.
The former state senator said she looks forward to taking advantage of USDA grants for affordable housing in Nebraska. According to Bolz, housing is a struggle for many small communities. Bolz said strengthening small businesses, promoting rural health care and food security are other ways she thinks the USDA can have an impact in rural Nebraska.
For more information on USDA loans and grants, visit their website or contact the state’s director of rural development, Kate Bolz.