Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Release of Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition by USDA's Economic Research Service:
"Today's annual report by USDA's Economic Research Service - Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition - highlights the critical need for a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will help to reverse troubling demographic and economic patterns in rural America. The fact is, too many people in rural America live in persistently-poor areas. Too many people still have trouble finding a good job. The populations of too many small towns and rural communities are shrinking. This is just one more reminder that we need a national commitment to create new opportunities in rural America that keeps folks in our small towns and reignites economic growth across the nation. The Farm Bill would invest to grow agricultural exports, and strengthen new markets for agriculture that hold job creation potential. It would spur new opportunities to manufacture products and energy from homegrown materials. It would invest in the future of Main Street businesses and communities. Rural America needs a new Farm Bill now, to meet these modern challenges head on and chart a pathway for future economic success across our rural areas."
The Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition report can be viewed here: http://www.ers.usda.gov/ersDownloadHandler.ashx?file=/media/1216457/eb-24_single-pages.pdf