In June, President Obama established the Rural Council, which is chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. As a result, numerous rural roundtables have been held and will continue to be held throughout the country.
Revitalizing rural America is a priority to this Administration. The rural roundtables are an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input, identify challenges and make recommendations.
On my recent trip to the great state of Alabama, my USDA colleagues from Rural Development, Farm Services Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported me at a rural roundtable held in the community of Dothan. We had excellent attendance and constructive input from community leaders attending. Read more »
Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager spent a busy week recently traveling throughout the heartland as a part of President Obama’s Rural Tour.
Under Secretary Tonsager attended a Rural Tour event in Iowa with President Obama and Secretary Vilsack, and then continued to South Dakota where he took part in DakotaFest. DakotaFest is an annual outdoor farm show that takes place on the Schlafffman Farm outside of Mitchell, SD. Mr. Tonsager visited with South Dakotans attending DakotaFest and talked about rural issues most important to them. Read more »
President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, on the first day of a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to get out of Washington, DC and travel to small towns and farm towns in the heartland of the country. I sat down with small business owners, farmers and ranchers in Iowa; I had lunch with veterans in Cannon Falls, Minnesota; and I talked to plant workers at a seed distributor in Atkinson, Illinois. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
Today, I am hosting a forum focused on the rural economy at the Iowa state fair. But, Rural America has been in the spotlight all this week as I joined President Obama to travel across parts of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, visiting rural communities to discuss his Administration’s efforts to create jobs and drive economic growth. From investments in rural broadband to efforts to support small-business innovation, the President talked about his commitment to rural America – and he listened to what local residents had to say.
The centerpiece of his trip was the Rural Economic Forum, held Tuesday at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta. There, 200 small business owners, farmers, retirees, elected officials and others came together to discuss their ideas for a revitalized rural economy. I was pleased to participate in that forum, along with my Cabinet colleagues Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan, Transportation Secretary LaHood, and Administrator Mills of the Small Business Administration. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (center white shirt) listens to President Barack Obama speaking at the Northeast Iowa Community College for a White House Rural Economic Forum on August 16, 2011. Agriculture Secretary and chair of the White House Rural Council, Tom Vilsack, notes that the President’s visit will focus on agriculture’s contribution to the national economy, and how to create more jobs in rural America. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Earlier this week, President Obama along with Secretary Vilsack and members of the White House Rural Council hosted the White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa where the President announced new jobs initiatives focused on increasing access to capital, job training and health care services. The forum, part of President Obama’s three-day economic bus tour, brought together farmers, small business owners, private sector leaders, rural stakeholders and government officials to discuss ways to improve economic growth and create jobs in rural communities nationwide. The White House Rural Council, of which Secretary Vilsack is the chair, was created on June 9, 2011 by an executive order and is focused on finding ways to increase economic growth and infrastructure in rural communities. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
Yesterday, President Obama announced that our Departments will jointly invest $510 million over the next three years to develop the domestic capacity for advanced biofuels. The funds will be leveraged with at least a one-to-one private industry match to construct or retrofit advanced biofuel plants to produce drop-in aviation and marine biofuels that will power our military’s ships and aircraft and our commercial transportation fleet. For the first time, our Departments’ efforts have been put behind a single project to help create the new energy future and new energy economy set out in the President’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future (pdf) issued this March. Read more »