Anne Hazlett serves as Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at the Department of Agriculture. An Indiana native, she has a deep and lifelong passion for rural America, small towns and the people who call them home.
Hazlett has worked on agriculture and rural issues for more than 15 years. Serving as legal counsel for the Agriculture Committees in both the House and Senate, Hazlett has been an advocate for rural communities on many important issues, from farm bill legislation to broadband and nutrition programs.
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.
“More than a health concern, the opioid crisis is an issue of rural prosperity and will take the commitment, collaboration and creativity of a wide range of partners to address,” Hazlett said.
In a recent Focus on Ag column, she wrote, “On the Farm Town Strong website, the American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union include a bold declaration which reads: ‘Farm towns will overcome this epidemic through strong farmer-to-farmer support and the resilience of our communities.’ We could not agree more with this sentiment and stand ready to be a partner with rural America in this fight.” For its part, USDA has launched a website addressing opioid misuse in rural America at https://www.usda.gov/topics/opioids.
Hazlett is a graduate of Kansas State University and the Indiana University School of Law. She also holds a master’s degree in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas.