Vilsack Urges Rural Americans to Change Their Mindset

Ag Secretary Vilsack asked the 2012 Farm Journal Forum attendees why the U.S. doesn't have a farm bill. He attributes it not just to differences of policy - but the fact that rural America is becoming less relevant to the politics of this country with its shrinking population. Vilsack says rural Americans need to recognize that and begin to reverse it - his point being rural residents are the ones who have written off the future of rural areas because many have adopted a preservation mindset - not a growth mindset. Vilsack outlined a few priorities and opportunities that are growth driven - including a focus on more promotion of local and regional food systems to help small producers and help repopulate some rural communities. Unless rural Americans change their perspective and respond and react to the challenges they face - Vilsack says the capacity or rural America and its power and its reach will continue to decline.

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