USDA Rural Development's Anne Hazlett to speak at SOAR Summit

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Anne Hazlett, assistant to the secretary for rural development at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), will speak at the 2018 SOAR Summit on Friday, August 31 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky.

“USDA Rural Development is important partners in our work across Appalachia Kentucky and have made significant investments across the region that has led to economic and community development,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR). “I want to thank Hilda Legg, our state director for USDA Rural Development, for her work in bringing Ms. Hazlett to the Summit.  Hilda is a true advocate for rural development in Kentucky.”

Hazlett has worked on agriculture and rural issues for over fifteen years.  She has served as legal counsel for the Agriculture Committees in both the U.S. House and Senate and served as Director of Agriculture for her home state of Indiana and Chief of Staff for Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. 

At USDA, Hazlett is leading the Rural Development mission area to create an environment for rural prosperity, from greater access to broadband connectivity and medical care to workforce training through distance learning.  In this work, she is particularly passionate about helping families and community leaders touched by the opioid epidemic find hope and partnership in building a brighter future.

This year’s SOAR Summit will feature a main session on Friday, August 31, with a morning program and time in the afternoon to network and visit with more than 70 businesses and organizations doing innovative and collaborative work across the region.  On Thursday, August 30, a special pre-Summit leadership session will be held, featuring tracks in Health in Appalachia and Technology in Appalachia.  The SOAR Summit Reception will be on the evening of Thursday, August 30, at the East Kentucky Expo Center.  Entertainment will be provided by Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry, presented by CMH23.  The Reception is open to the public, but a ticket is required.

Those interested in attending the SOAR Summit or the reception can register at  Registration options include one or both days and individual tickets to the reception.

For more information, email or call (606) 766-1160.