In April 2017, President Trump issued an executive order establishing the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity “to ensure the informed exercise of regulatory authority that impacts agriculture and rural communities.” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is chairman of the Task Force, which includes a total of 22 federal agencies and local leaders.
In January 2018, the report was released which focuses on 5 specific calls to action to improve rural prosperity:
1: Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
Focused on ensuring rural American has access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet, which would enable increased productivity for farms, factories, forests, mining, and small businesses.
2: Improving Quality of Life
Discusses the importance of modern utilities, affordable housing, efficient transportation, reliable employment, medical services, public safety and education to empower rural communities to thrive. This call to action is focused on “key federal reforms will enable rural Americans to flourish and prosper in 21st Century communities.”
3: Supporting a Rural Workforce
Aimed at ensuring rural communities have job opportunities and qualified individuals to fill and “to provide career training and development, to fine-tune existing training programs, and to grow apprenticeship opportunities to develop the required workforce.”
4: Harnessing Technological Innovation
This call to action is focused on harnessing innovations to increase yields and improve crop quality, including biotechnology and gene editing, to meet the increased food demand and global growth projected to be 400 million people by 20150.
5: Developing the Rural Economy
Focused on improving technologies that increase productivity on farms, including investing in rural transportation infrastructure and promoting “Made in America” products domestically and internationally while reducing regulatory burdens in rural America.
You can view the full report and the newly launched website here.