Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Strenthen Rural America Petition

Signatures are coming in (but we are still far short of 500). The response continues to be positive across the board. If you have not signed, do so today, then tell your friends and family, and distribute the link to the Strengthen Rural America Petition to your listserves and on Blogs that you frequent. Keep getting the word out! John

Strengthening Rural America Strengthens All of America!

America is strongest when all of its communities are strong and all of its people have access to genuine opportunity. Rural America is a valuable part of America. But today rural communities and rural people are not sharing in the nation’s prosperity. It is hurting all of America.

The Center for Rural Affairs is calling on rural Americans to join the thousands of people that are standing up and speaking out for rural America. Add your voice to the voices of thousands by signing the Center’s Rural Action Petition.

Sign the Strengthen Rural America Petition! – www.cfra.org/nran_endorse.htm

Then, take another step and forward this e-mail to everyone you can think of – or your entire contact list.

The Center for Rural Affairs National Rural Action Network will deliver the petition signatures to your Senators and Representatives. We will also alert all who sign on when contacting their representative or taking other action will make a crucial difference on a rural issue before Congress.

With your help, the National Rural Action Network will grow to tens of thousands of people speaking out for Rural America, perhaps even more. Together, through the Rural Action Network, we will build the power necessary to take control of our destiny.

Sign the Strengthen Rural America Petition! – www.cfra.org/nran_endorse.htm

And forward this e-mail to everyone you can.

- When rural young people are denied the opportunity to build homes, businesses, lives and careers, rural America contributes fewer taxes, fewer jobs and less productivity to America. To contribute to the nation’s prosperity, Rural America must share in it.

- When community is weakened, the bonds that make us strong are weakened. In strong communities we are more likely to help each other. To uplift rural values, we must lift up rural communities.

- The WalMarting of the American economy – the destruction of family farms and small business – is shrinking the rural middle class. People denied a stake in the American dream, are less likely to take responsibility for sustaining it.

Strengthening Rural America Strengthens All of America!

Congress Must Act Now to Revitalize Rural America!


There are practical strategies that work to revitalize rural communities. But local initiative must be matched by federal policies that support rural revitalization, rather than hinder it. The 2007 farm bill provides an opportunity to change course.

We do not have to choose between family farms and rural communities. The single most effective thing Congress can do to strengthen rural America is to cap farm payments and stop providing subsidies that mega farms use to drive smaller operations out of business

Capping payments to mega farms will save money that can be invested in initiatives that create a future for Rural America, including:

- Rural Entrepreneurship – traditional economic development based on industrial and business recruitment simply does not work for rural communities. Investment in entrepreneurial development based on small business does work, and counters out-migration as well as chronic economic hardship by creating economic opportunity.

- Rural Asset Building – match savings of lower income families in counties with chronic depopulation and allow money saved in these Individual Development Accounts to be used for starting a business, buying a home or obtaining higer education. These strategies help individuals and families build assets base that lift the veil of poverty and dependence on low-wage work, making rural communities stronger and more viable as opportunities are expanded and ownership extended to more rural people.

- Family Farm and Ranch Innovation – assist farmers and ranchers in pursuing new, high-value, consumer driven markets for their products, thereby creating enhanced economic opportunities in rural communities. Invest resources in innovative cooperatives and other ventures that increase the profitability and viability of family farms and ranches.

- Beginning Farmers and Ranchers – the future of agriculture depends on the next generation of family farmers and ranchers. And the viability of many rural businesses, schools and other community institutions also depends on new farmers and ranchers getting started. Invest in training, mentoring, linking, education and planning – invest in the future of family farming and ranching.

- Conservation – preserve land and water by rewarding farmers and ranchers for good stewardship on working lands.

Take Action Today!

Sign the Strengthen Rural America Petition! –
www.cfra.org/nran_endorse.htm

Forward this e-mail to your friends and family, or your entire contact list!


post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.

11 Comments:

  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just signed the petition! I don't know if I was the first, but since I am the first to post here, I am going to claim to be the first person to sign the petition!

    April 26, 2006 at 7:16 a.m.

    Fargo, North Dakota

     
  • At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I signed the petition. and I sent the link to about 20 people.

     
  • At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I signed!
    Jamestown, North Dakota

     
  • At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Onawa, Iowa

     
  • At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    John, I have forwarded information about the Petition for Rural America to 50 people now. I'm stopping there, but I will do more later. Thanks!

     
  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I signed!
    Fargo ND

     
  • At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Michigan! Go Wolverines!

     
  • At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    East Lansing, Michigan
    Go Spartan!

     
  • At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I signed the petition, from Lincoln, Nebraska.

     
  • At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just signed the petition as well. This farm bill may be one of last chances at breaking the mold of some of our old status quoa systems we have now. Let's reward our nations farmer's and ranchers for being good, not just big, as well as good stewards, not just mega fund locations. Innovative young new talent should be allowed to become part of our heritage at all possible costs to save our farms and communities from total elimination. Payment caps have to be one priority. With the emergence of our boifuels and such, while a wonderful opportunity, who ends up with the benefits of this is still in the making, and be weary of who owns all the land it takes to produce these assests in the future, will it be someone in New York, Texas...? Or will it be still in the hands of our local farmer's and rancher's who will be investing in our local communities. And we have to have a strong state and local supported strucure for our communities and farms in developing new ways to add value to our proucts.

     
  • At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Albert Lea, Minnesota

     

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