A report from the White House recently touched on both the value and values embodied in our nation’s rural communities.
In Strengthening Rural Communities: Lessons from a Growing Farm Economy, the White House Council of Economic Advisors and its Rural Council proffered that “our rural communities are home to some of the most hard working and fiercely self-reliant Americans in the United States. Strong and secure rural communities are essential to creating an economy built to last that rewards hard work and responsibility –not outsourcing, loopholes, and risky financial deals.”
It went on to add that “an agricultural economy built to last is integral to the affordability of our food, the independence of our energy supply, and the security of America’s middle class.”
Although the report emerges in an election year, it contains an interesting portrayal of rural communities across the country and it recognizes the many important contributions the nations’ farms and ranches provide to the U.S. economy and our national security. The report describes a strong and resilient agricultural economy throughout the country, focusing on several factors driving progress in the American farm economy, including innovation, increasing exports, building a clean energy economy, promoting new diverse industries, and supporting rural communities.
Most poignant is the reflection of the rural character—working landscapes where people are self-reliant and the rural communities pull together to help each other.
Missing in the report are the numerous environmental values embodied in our rural lands and the major contributions these bucolic landscapes provide to our largely urban society. For those in the bustling cities, the report is a reminder to think about our special rural landscapes and the many attributes contained in these landscapes.