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Trump and Reynolds Focused on Rural Development
By: Bill Northey and Mike Naig, Iowa Agriculture Department - 01/12/2018

This was a significant week for our farms and rural communities here in Iowa and across the country.

In her Condition of the State Address, Governor Reynolds advocated for long-term funding for water quality. We have made tremendous progress and laid a strong foundation for our water quality efforts going forward, but this session is an opportunity to identify a long-term source of funding to allow us to continue to scale-up our water quality efforts.

The Governor also spoke forcefully on supporting our state's rural areas, including expanding broadband access. With agriculture as an important driver, we agree there are tremendous opportunities to see significant growth and economic development generated in our small towns and rural communities.

On a national level, President Trump addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention and released a report from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. We appreciate the President's focus on rural issues and leadership to put this task force together.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue chaired the task force that included more than 21 federal agencies and was focused on ways to help improve live in rural America.

The task force's findings highlighted five areas where work is needed to help create new opportunities in our rural areas:

- Connectivity for rural America

- Quality of life improvement

- Support for a rural workforce

- Technological innovation

- Rural economic development

The full report is available at www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity. It includes more information about the task force's findings around the challenges facing rural America and what the Trump Administration is doing to help make sure our rural communities are vibrant and growing.

Unfortunately, we have seen many of our rural communities struggle in the past decades, but they still hold exciting potential. The time is right to focus tapping the limitless potential found in our rural residents and the communities they live in. We have the right leadership at the state and federal level to help jump start a rural economic renaissance.

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