October 5, the White House will host the White House Rural Forum, convening rural policy, business, and nonprofit leaders to Penn State University in State College, PA, and announcing new Administration actions in support of rural America. At tomorrow’s convening, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Chair of the White House Rural Council, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will lead discussions on pertinent issues facing rural communities, including opportunities for economic growth and strategies for improving health care and housing. Secretary Vilsack will also urge lawmakers and the private sector, foundations, and nonprofits to recognize opportunities in America’s rural communities to ensure continued social and economic progress.
Significant gains have been made across rural America: Rural household income climbed 3.4 percent in 2015, and overall poverty and food insecurity fell dramatically, rural populations have begun to rebound, and non-metro areas have added more than 250,000 jobs since 2014, while the share of rural Americans without health insurance is now at an all-time low.
Established by President Obama in 2011, the White House Rural Council coordinates the Administration’s efforts in rural America by streamlining and improving the effectiveness of federal programs, engaging stakeholders on priority issues, and coordinating private sector partnerships to create economic opportunity and improve the quality of life.
Building on the work of the White House Rural Council, today the Administration and non-Federal organizations are announcing new investments and highlighting programs to support continued progress in rural America, including:
- $3 Billion Invested in Rural Infrastructure Projects
- $7.7 Million in New Grants to Bring Broadband to 6 Unserved Communities
- $24.4 Million to Fund 80 New Efforts to Support Rural Businesses
- $10.9 million invested in 15 new Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) and Grant (REDG) projects
- $9.1 million invested in 15 new Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) projects
- $1.2 million invested in 4 new Rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) projects
- $3.2 million invested in 46 new Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) projects
- Grants to Increase Rural Veterans’ Access to Health Care
- Investing in volunteer service to address the opioid crisis in Rural America
- Rural IMPACT Demonstration pilot program
- Economic Development Planning Assistance for Rural Communities
It is important that the rural parts of America thrive and improve for the sake of the people who work and live there. Since all our food is grown in rural America we also all have a vested interest in food security. We also need to be good stewards of the land for the flora (oxygen production, home for wildlife as well as beauty), fauna and the water sources that sustain life.
- 6/9/11 Executive Order – Establishment of the White House Rural Council
- 10/4/16 FACT SHEET: The White House Rural Forum
- 12/5/16 FACT SHEET: The Obama Administration Announces New Steps to Advance Soil Sustainability
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 @ 8:30 AM ET
White House Rural Forum
Live Stream: http://wpsu.org/event