The Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Program promotes locally driven initiatives to improve the environmental, social, and economic conditions of rural communities. Established in 1960 by Congress under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), RC&D Programs bring together local businesses and volunteers to carry out projects to improve conditions in rural areas. RC&D's are led by a council of local citizens, so projects are better suited for the region. The focus on local direction and control has made RC&D one of the most successful rural development programs of the Federal Government.