President Obama Establishes White House Rural Council

On June 9, 2011, President Obama signed Executive Order No. 13575 (copy attached) establishing the White House Rural Council (Council). The Council is charged with developing policy recommendations that better coordinate federal programs government-wide to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth. In addition, the Council is to coordinate and increase the effectiveness of federal engagement with rural stakeholders on the needs of rural America. “Rural stakeholders” include tribal governments.

The Rural Council will be chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and comprised of the heads of executive branch departments, agencies and offices (including the Departments of the Interior, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs).

Over the next several months, the Council will focus on job creation and economic development, addressing key factors such as:

• Jobs: Improve job training and workforce development in rural America
• Agriculture: Expand markets for agriculture, including regional food systems and exports
• Access to Credit: Increase opportunity by expanding access to capital in rural communities and fostering local investment
• Innovation: Promote the expansion of biofuels production capacity and community based renewable energy projects
• Networks: Develop high-growth regional economies by capitalizing on inherent regional strengths
• Health Care: Improve access to quality health care through expansion of health technology systems
• Education: Increase post-secondary enrollment rates and completion for rural students
• Broadband: Support the President’s plan to increase broadband opportunities in rural America
• Infrastructure: Coordinate investment in critical infrastructure
• Ecosystem markets: Expanding opportunities for conservation, outdoor opportunities and economic growth on working lands and public lands

Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the White House Rural Council.