(Posted Tue. Aug 2nd, 2011)
Aug. 2: The new White House Rural Council, established by President Obama this summer, is the first entity of its kind to focus on policy initiatives for rural Americans. The National Corn Growers Association hopes that it will help residents in rural areas to see improved programs and services that provide the maximum benefit possible, thus creating vibrant communities that will help attract the next generation of farmers back to farming communities.
“Today, most farmers operate near rural communities suffering from above-average poverty rates and decreasing populations,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “We applaud this effort to bring opportunities back to our communities and revitalize the rural areas that have contributed so much to our country’s heritage.”
As outlined in the Executive Order, the Secretary of Agriculture serves as chair of the council. Membership includes the heads of: the Department of the Treasury; the Department of Defense; the Department of Justice; the Department of the Interior; the Department of Commerce; the Department of Labor; the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Department of Transportation; the Department of Energy; the Department of Education; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Homeland Security; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Federal Communications Commission; the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Council of Economic Advisors; and the Domestic Policy Council.
As the White House Rural Council conducts its work, it is inviting local stakeholders to stay connected to its efforts and provide input and ideas on the future of rural America. Details on Council activities are available online at www.WhiteHouse.gov/issues/rural. The Rural Affairs team can be reached by email at RuralAffairs@who.eop.gov.