Obama’s Rural Agenda

President Barack Obama unveiled his Rural Agenda last week.

Obama

Three core areas were identified:

  • to ensure economic opportunity for family farmers;
  • to support rural economic development;
  • to improve rural quality of life

At the heart of the agricultural proposals is help for family farmers and
rural small businesses to find ‘profitability in the marketplace and success in
the global economy’.

Improved health care, education and infrastructure and a focus on
renewable energy form the basis of the rural development policy.

More detail is laid out in The Obama-Biden Plan on the Office of
the President-Elect website and you can get the ‘Market
 to Market’ take on the Agenda via

Iowa Public Television
(Iowa being the State from which Tom Vilsack,
the Secretary of Agriculture served as Governor).

Looking back at
the
Bush Administration’s 2008 Farm Bill, several themes have been continued.
These include the encouragement of production and use of renewable energy
resources, greater
access to broadband technology; country-of-origin
labelling, conservation provisions for wetlands, grasslands, and forests;
support for organic farming; and enhanced infrastructure and health care.
Perhaps the greatest difference is in the focus on the smaller farms and rural
enterprises of the USA
and a fairly anti-agribusiness/large corporate tone to the Plan. As the video
shows, on the campaign trail, President Obama clearly stated that “we’ll tell
ConAgra that it’s not the Department of Agribusiness but the Department of
Agriculture”!

Given the President’s roots as a senator from a rural, Midwestern state,
he has firsthand experience of America’s
rural issues – it will be interesting to see developments in the agricultural
and rural economies over the coming Presidential Term, as well as in the
lobbying industry!

A quick search on CAB Abstracts finds over 440 records indexed agricultural policy or rural development
relating to the USA and added in the last five Bush Presidency years. Will
there be a similar amount of interest generated amongst economists by the new
Administration’s collective thoughts on all things rural, or will it be
overshadowed by the attention that continues to be focused on the global
economic crisis and its impact on the farming sector and food security?

2 thoughts on “Obama’s Rural Agenda

  1. Alena December 24, 2009 / 7:36 am

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Alena
    http://grantfoundation.net

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s