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Posts tagged: White House Blog

White House Rural Council Hosts Native American Food and Agriculture Roundtable Discussion

Cross posted from the White House blog:

Yesterday, the White House Rural Council hosted a Native American Food and Agriculture Roundtable Discussion, bringing together tribal leaders and experts on Native American agricultural economic development with Administration officials from the White House Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Council on Environmental Quality, and federal agency partners including the  Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Treasury, and the Small Business Administration.

The White House Rural Council was established by an Executive Order of President Obama in June 2011.  The Rural Council, chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, is dedicated to creating jobs and fostering economic development in Rural America.  This is an all hands on deck approach – to accomplish this goal of growing the rural economy, the President appointed 14 Cabinet Members to the Council.  In August 2011, the Council hosted the White House Native American Business Leaders Roundtable, which provided officials an opportunity to hear from Native American business leaders and policy experts about ways we can work together to improve economic conditions and create jobs in tribal communities. Read more »

The DREAM Act for Our Rural Communities and Our Nation

Cross-posted from the White House Blog where you can also find posts from other top Administration Officials on the importance of the DREAM Act.

From 2000 to 2006, while I was Governor of Iowa, approximately 60 percent of the total population increase in the state was directly attributable to immigrants.  Our economy thrived.  The new population contributed to local economies, paid taxes, became valued and productive members of their communities and helped lead an economic revitalization in the state. Read more »

Domestic Production of Renewable Energy – A National Priority

The Obama Administration has made domestic production of renewable energy a national priority because it will create quality American jobs, combat global warming, reduce fossil fuel dependence and lay a strong foundation for a strong rural economy.  Read more »

Back Home in the Midwest

Cross posted from the White House Blog by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack

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Recently, I had the privilege of accompanying President Obama on his White House to Main Street Tour to visit towns in Missouri, Illinois and my home state of Iowa. Coming home to small towns in the Midwest reminds me of what terrific places they are to live – but also of the challenges that so many middle class Americans in these communities face on a daily basis.

The truth is that there is a silent crisis going on in rural America.  Rural communities have higher poverty rates than the rest of the country, fewer people have college degrees, and many towns are watching as their young adults move away because they don’t see an opportunity to make a good living.

At the local businesses, farms and schools the President and I visited this week, folks were asking the same question:  how can we bring economic vitality back to Main Streets across the nation?  And many of our stops on the tour demonstrated possible answers to that question.

In Fort Madison, Iowa we visited a plant that manufactures blades for wind turbines that added nearly 400 new jobs with help from a grant from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The Obama administration is hard at work supporting plants like this – and other renewable energy opportunities – to build a green economy that will also help combat climate change.

In my home town of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa the President and I visited a small farm and business supplying locally grown food to schools and businesses in the community.  At USDA, our Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative is working to create more small businesses like this one that link local production to local consumers.

newly-released report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers’ outlines more of the Administration’s policies that will bring greater economic prosperity to rural America. The Recovery Act laid the framework for this new rural economy, making important investments in broadband access, energy, education and infrastructure – but there is still more work to be done to create jobs and ensure prosperity in rural communities.

Coming home to the Midwest was a reminder of how a healthy American economy depends on a prosperous rural America – and some of the steps we need to take to build it. But it also showed me once again that President Obama is deeply committed to nurturing strong, robust, and vibrant rural communities so that Main Street’s across rural America remain the best places in this nation to live, work, and raise a family.

President Barack Obama tours a farm with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, and farmer Lowell Schachtsiek in Palmyra, Missouri, April 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama tours a farm with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, and farmer Lowell Schachtsiek in Palmyra, Missouri, April 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Strengthening the Rural Economy

Cross-Posted from the White House Blog.

Rural areas are home to about 50 million Americans and are an essential part of the overall economy.  As the President embarks on the next stops on the White House to Main Street Tour in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, the CEA today released a report that surveys the current state of rural America and describes the Obama Administration’s policies for strengthening the rural economy.  The map below shows the distribution of rural counties across the county. Read more »