“Strong rural communities are key to a stronger America,” said President Barack Obama in announcing the White House Rural Council this summer. “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, according to the White House. 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.
But here’s what CABPRO thinks in a new post:
“Rural communities are generally small towns with close community ties formed to create relative safety, where everyone knows each other and we help one another. How can BIG Government possibly help us? BIG Government would just screw up a good thing. What is the purpose of the White House Rural Council?…to turn rural communities into ghettos like they have done to the urban metropolitan big cities?
“This new USDA BIG boondoggle comes on the heels of several other like-minded and costly Obama initiatives. In the last few months the USDA has doled out tens of millions of dollars to bring healthy foods to the inner city, recruit more food-stamp recipients and track what minority public school children eat for lunch.
“Just a few days before Obama’s executive order the USDA dropped $10 million on a Farmers Market Promotion Program (http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/FMPP) that is to bring fresh and healthy cuisine to low-income neighborhoods (“food deserts”) throughout the USA. Last month the USDA launched a sophisticated internet-based mapping tool “Food Desert Locator” that identifies areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.”
According to the Obama administration, the program will focus on:
•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
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