Cross posted from the White House Blog
Since the establishment of the White House Rural Council in June, President Barack Obama, a number of senior Administration officials and I met with folks throughout the country to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing rural America. By hosting the White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa, as part of the President’s three-day Bus Tour in August, in addition to nearly 200 roundtable discussions with business and agricultural leaders in rural communities, we learned what rural Americans think are the most important issues to ensure that their future is bright and prosperous. Read more »
This past week, I traveled to the West Coast to connect with local leaders about President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act, which will put Americans to work and get our economy back on track – all without adding a dime to the deficit. It was a rewarding experience meeting the great people of California, Oregon and Washington, and it was apparent that they are ready to see the economy flourish again and believe this Act will get us there. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack of the United States Department of Agriculture explaining the American Jobs Act to a group from the Portland, OR area on Tuesday, September 27, 2011. USDA Photo by Glen Sachet.
I recently had the privilege of accompanying Secretary Vilsack at one of a series of White House Business Roundtables in Portland, Oregon. There, I met a diverse group of men and women representing a variety of business interests including food production, building construction, banking, equipment manufacturing, and renewable energy. As part of the discussion, Secretary Vilsack shared the framework for the American Jobs Act – employing people now, building a platform for sustainable growth, and getting our fiscal house in order. Read more »
A week ago, President Obama released the American Jobs Act, a specific plan to jumpstart our economy and put Americans to work today. It contains ideas that both parties in Washington have supported. And yesterday, he laid out a plan that will pay for it – and for other long-term investments we need to stay competitive – while reducing our deficits.
The plan takes a balanced approach. It looks for savings across government. And it asks everyone to do their part and pay their fair share so we can live within our means.
For agriculture, the plan focuses on what the President and I believe is one of the most pressing challenges facing producers right now: maintaining a strong safety net and disaster assistance programs that will work for all farmers and ranchers, no matter what they produce or where they produce it. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
This week, I served as keynote speaker for a special conference in Great Falls, Montana, convened by Rural Dynamics Incorporated. The theme of the conference was “Mobilizing Rural Communities” and included participants representing a host of private, public, and non-profit participants. It has been less than three months since President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the first White House Rural Council. The Great Falls conference provided an opportunity to connect with many great folks from the Northern Plains Region, who are working on a daily basis on local projects and local partnerships to further the economic development and vitality of rural areas.
The group was very interested to learn more about the work of the White House Rural Council. We discussed President Obama’s priority of ensuring that rural areas have additional opportunities for economic investment and available working capital. We also discussed the need for innovation in the areas of high-speed Internet, renewable energy opportunities, as well as enhancements in education and health care. Topics involving natural resource-related business enterprises, public works, and forestry – all key focus areas for the White House Rural Council—were also discussed. Read more »