A Positive Path for Rural America

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson February 5, 2018 16:14

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Anne Hazlett, the USDA’s Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, recently spoke of a signed executive order that created an Agricultural and Rural Prosperity task force.  More than 21 different federal agencies with resources to help rural communities gathered together to determine ways that they could improve life in rural America, and  Hazlett reports that the group identified dozens of recommendations which center around these five areas:

  • Better E-Connectivity for Rural America – 40% of rural Americans today lack access to high-speed, high-capacity internet which is necessary for everything including health care, education and market access.
  • Quality of Life – Elements of a community that enable folks to experience a high quality of life include modern utilities, affordable housing, efficient transportation, access to medical service, public safety, and quality education.  A wide range of federal departments and agencies are also concentrating on an effective response to the opioid epidemic.
  • Rural Workforce – Because today’s rural areas are more economically diverse, opportunities are stymied for growth in the workforce sector.  Employers want to locate where there’s a workforce ready for them, so the task force is looking at career mapping within the education system to determine what is needed to prepare a future workforce appropriate for rural economies.
  • Innovation – The task force believes that the biotechnology sector is a driver, and this presents exceptional opportunity for American farmers and rural communities to shine in the front lines of innovation.
  • Economic Development –  Rural business people, entrepreneurs, as well as farmers and ranchers who are just beginning, need improved access to capital to help them start, grow and expand, and the task force feels investing in rural economic development will empower these places as well as the entire U.S.

Congress is preparing to write important farm bill legislation, and Hazlett hopes this task force report will provide a fresh, strong and valuable resource to those policymakers.  Do you think this task force is on the right track?  Are there any key points they might have missed?  Let us know in the comments below.

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

Resource:

https://www.agriculture.com/news/task-force-creates-a-roadmap-for-rural-america?utm_source=ag

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson February 5, 2018 16:14
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