President Obama signed an Executive Order to establish the first White House Rural Council to address the many challenges that rural communities face in the U.S. today. The Council will be in place to coordinate programs across government, to encourage public-private partnerships, and to promote further economic prosperity and quality of life in rural communities nationwide.
The Rural Council will by chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and not only be responsible for recommending investments in rural areas, but also to coordinate the activities and thoughts of a variety of stakeholders that will include agricultural organizations, small businesses, plus state, local, and tribal governments.
In the coming months, the Rural Council will focus on job creation and economic development by increasing the flow of capital to rural areas, by promoting innovations, and expanding digital and physical networks. Key items open for discussion will center on health technology systems, how to increase broadband opportunities in rural areas, and how to coordinate the critical infrastructure needed in communities.