Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Mexico Ernesto Luis Derbez Bautista have signed a partnership arrangement to improve access to USDA rural development programs for eligible Mexicans in the United States.

"USDA looks forward to continuing to work with Mexican authorities to enhance outreach to the Mexican community," said Johanns. "USDA administers 43 rural development programs designed to assist rural residents and communities increase their economic opportunities and improve their quality of life. Expanding access to these programs in underserved communities in need, especially the Hispanic community, is a priority for the Bush Administration."

"This partnership is the continuation of the firm cooperation established with the USDA, to inform and encourage qualified Mexican nationals to take advantage of the benefits offered by rural development programs," said Derbez. "Within these programs, USDA loans and grants for housing contribute to the enhanced well being of eligible Mexicans who would otherwise not be able to own a home or improve their living conditions. This partnership is one of the actions developed by the Foreign Affairs Secretary to engage in promoting better conditions for Mexicans living in the U.S."

Source: Government Release