FAQ: What did USDA's recently released "Rural America at a Glance Report" indicate for the farm economy?
Answer: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently released the following statement on "Rural America at a Glance", 2015 Edition. This is the annual report by USDA's Economic Research Service.
"Today's report reflects a rural America on the road to recovery," says Vilsack. "Rural employment has increased; rural population decline did not increase over the past year and some rural counties have seen population growth; and the rural child poverty rate has declined by one percentage point. These trends are promising."
Need to continue targeted investment in rural America
"The report also demonstrates the continued need for targeted investments in rural people and places. USDA's nutrition programs, the Strike Force Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity, and the Rural Impact effort, which focuses on a multigenerational approach to public and private investments in rural families and communities, work together to address persistent rural poverty, particularly among children.
Increasing credit availability to small businesses
"At the same time, the Administration continues to look for innovative ways to spur rural job and business growth, including expanding access to credit and capital through USDA's Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund and the Rural Business Investment Companies, and the Small Business Administration's commitment to increasing credit to rural small businesses by $2 billion.
"Collectively, these investments work to attract and retain a talented rural labor force, make rural communities more competitive, and support the businesses and families that call America's rural areas home," says Vilsack.
The "Rural America at a Glance", 2015 Edition report can be viewed at ers.usda.gov/publications/eib-economic-information-bulletin/eib-145.aspx.
To see how USDA has invested in rural communities across the country visit usda.gov/opportunities.