Yes, the Farm Bill should Restore a Robust Rural Economy

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…and that means including the Rebuild Rural America and Rural Prosperity Acts. According to Agri-Pulse, at a recent “unofficial listening session” convened by the new chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Glen Thompson (R-PA), he said “the Farm Bill needs to ‘restore a robust rural economy and begin to grow our rural population again, to be able to support what we need to do.’”

The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.Org:

Frankly, we agree with Chairman Thompson.

A commitment to a robust rural economy means passing policies that increase good-paying jobs and wages, decrease daily expenses, and improve the quality of life for rural communities experiencing economic distress. That’s why the Rebuild Rural America and Rural Prosperity Acts should be included in the 2023 Farm Bill.

We hope Thompson’s comment is also a recognition that rural doesn’t mean only farming and agriculture, something that too many people in Washington, D.C. and the media get wrong. In fact, more rural people work in manufacturing than in agriculture. Health care is another major rural employer, but rural hospitals are in dire straits, and each one that closes devastates the local economy. Of 2,000 rural U.S. hospitals, 150 have closed since 2005, and more than 300 are at risk.

At Rural Organizing, we are focused on policies that expand opportunities for all rural communities because that’s what rural people have told us they want. If Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee want to be reliable voices for rural America, those should be their priorities, too.

— Matt Hildreth

The mission of  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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