Obama Administration Establishes White House Rural Council



By Agri-Pulse staff  

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc

 

WASHINGTON, June 9 - The White House today announced the establishment of the first White House Rural Council.  While rural communities face challenges, they also present economic potential.  To address these challenges, build on the Administration's rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Rural Council. 

 “Strong rural communities are key to a stronger America,” said President Barack Obama.  “That's why I've established the White House Rural Council to make sure we're working across government to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth.”

 The White House Rural Council will coordinate programs across government to encourage public-private partnerships to promote further economic prosperity and quality of life in rural communities nationwide.  Chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the Council will be responsible for providing recommendations for investment in rural areas and will coordinate Federal engagement with a variety of rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, and state, local, and tribal governments. 

Globally Positioned Agriculture

 “Rural America makes significant contributions to the security, prosperity, and economic strength of our country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “The Rural Council announced by President Obama shows his continued focus on promoting economic opportunity, creating jobs, and enhancing the quality of life for those who live in rural America.  Together with the rest of the Obama administration, USDA has worked to support families and businesses in rural communities so that their success will pay dividends for all Americans.”

 In the coming months, the White House Rural Council will focus on job creation and economic development by increasing the flow of capital to rural areas, promoting innovation, expanding digital and physical networks, and celebrating opportunity through America's natural resources. The Council will begin discussing key factors for growth, including:

·         Jobs: Improve job training and workforce development in rural America

·         Agriculture: Expand markets for agriculture, including regional food systems and exports

·         Access to Credit: Increase opportunity by expanding access to capital in rural communities and fostering local investment

·         Innovation: Promote the expansion of biofuels production capacity and community based renewable energy projects

·         Networks: Develop high-growth regional economies by capitalizing on inherent regional strengths

·         Health Care: Improve access to quality health care through expansion of health technology systems

·         Education: Increase post-secondary enrollment rates and completion for rural students

·         Broadband: Support the President's plan to increase broadband opportunities in rural America

·         Infrastructure: Coordinate investment in critical infrastructure

·         Ecosystem markets: Expanding opportunities for conservation, outdoor opportunities  and economic growth on working lands and public lands

 

The council will include the heads or a senior official of the following executive branch departments, agencies, and offices:

(1) the Department of the Treasury;

(2) the Department of Defense;

(3) the Department of Justice;

(4) the Department of the Interior;

(5) the Department of Commerce;

(6) the Department of Labor;

(7) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(8) the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

(9) the Department of Transportation;

(10) the Department of Energy;

(11) the Department of Education;

(12) the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(13) the Department of Homeland Security;

(14) the Environmental Protection Agency;

(15) the Federal Communications Commission;

(16) the Office of Management and Budget;

(17) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(18) the Office of National Drug Control Policy;

(19) the Council of Economic Advisers;

(20) the Domestic Policy Council;

(21) the National Economic Council;

(22) the Small Business Administration;

(23) the Council on Environmental Quality;

(24) the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs;

(25) the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs; and such other executive branch departments, agencies, and offices as the President or the Secretary of Agriculture may, from time to time, designate.

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