The NRDC was organized under the USDA Rural Development in 2003 and chartered in the State of Nevada in 2004. It is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit rural development organization that was founded after a series of state-wide listening sessions identified the need to resolve a number of pertinent issues including leadership, agricultural diversification, energy, telecommunications, and affordable housing. Most of the current 30+ rural development councils were formed in the early 1990’s when the USDA RD funding was established.

By its charter, the NRDC represents the interests of public, private, local, state, federal and Tribal sectors. Its primary objectives are to increase rural capacity and facilitate collaborative approaches to rural challenges and opportunities. The NRDC’s focus is to use the available resources of its rural partners in bringing about change and capacity development in rural communities. The best example of this is the community assessment program that requires the partnership and collaboration with an extensive use of resources and partnerships, including a diversity of partners that serve on the resource teams that complete the community assessments.

Accomplishments of the NRDC include successful Rural Summits in 2005 and 2007, the implementation of the community assessment program in 2008 throughout Nevada, and the collaboration of partners that has resulted in resources for rural Nevada.

Currently, its major focus has been on strategic planning and community assessments. However, there are a number of major issues remaining in rural communities that still need to be addressed, i.e. leadership development, community economic business development, renewable energy development, challenges to agricultural producers, the need for more advancement in telecommunications, and the stability of schools and hospitals. The NRDC strives to help communities find ways to become more sustainable.