The response to the question that I posed is a previous post (actually, a small series of posts)regarding what rural America would look like if rural mattered - What If Rural Mattered? - http://cfra.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-if-rural-mattered.html#comments - created such quality dialogue that I am compelled to follow-up.
One theme that ran throughout that discussion was, "...of course rural America matters, the question should be, how to we make sure rural America matters as much as it should..."
OK then, that is the question, how do we ensure that Rural Matters - not more, nor less than we deserve? What needs to change to create that reality and how do we make that change happen?
What needs to change to ensure that Rural Matters?
How do we make that change happen?
For the sake of reminder, I am including the original post here as well. Please feel free to post any ideas that you want. Legislation is important, but certainly not the only thing that needs to change - so do not limit yourself. And do not worry if you think you ideas might differ than mine, that is the whole point of this dialogue, to exchange ideas and challenge each other to think as broadly as possible about how to achieve our vision of the future of rural America.
What if Rural Mattered?
The question itself is presumptuous. And it depends on ones point of view, I guess. In pop culture, in New York City and Los Angeles, and on Wall Street, not many concern themselves with rural people. In Washington, the same is often true.
So, what if rural mattered? Would mega farms be allowed to use unlimited farm payments to drive beginning farmers and smaller operations out of business? Would rural development always be the last farm bill programs funded and the first cut? Would rural poverty and economic hardship be as enduring and persistent as they are now?
If you read what I have written in these pages, you know what I think. But what do you think? What is the value of rural America? What makes it worth fighting for? What would it look like, if rural mattered – not more than we deserve, not less – but if we just truly mattered?
Send me an e-mail, write me a letter or post a comment here - because I want to know, we all need to know, what it would look like if rural mattered.
John Crabtree, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyons, NE 68038
Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.