President Obama says rural America is helping to lead the charge as the nation continues to fight back from the deepest economic crisis in generations and build an economy that lasts. On farms and ranches and in towns and communities across the country – the President says rural Americans know that we are stronger as a people when everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules. He says those are the values we need to return to – and his Administration will continue to give rural communities the support and investment they need to show us the way. On Monday – President Obama announced that more than 400-million dollars has been invested in rural businesses this year through the Small Business Investment Company program. He says nearly two-billion dollars in additional funding will be invested by the end of fiscal year 2016.
Also on Monday – the Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Rural Council and USDA released a joint report on the progress that has been made in the agricultural economy. It details steps the Obama Administration has taken to help strengthen the farm economy and support jobs and growth in rural America. The report highlights the areas of innovation, exports, clean energy, new industries and community investment.
The report – Strengthening Rural Communities: Lessons from a Growing Farm Economy – shows that innovation has kept America’s farms among the most productive in the world. It also highlights the trade surplus enjoyed by American agriculture. When it comes to clean energy – the report states that the pursuit of an all-of-the-above strategy saved Americans a projected 6.5-billion kilowatt hours. That’s enough energy to power over 590-thousand homes for a year. Also – the amount of installed wind energy generation has nearly doubled in the U.S. over the past three years to 47-thousand megawatts in 2011.