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

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Rural Vote and the Future of Rural America

The Rural Vote and the Future of Rural America

by John Crabtree,, Center for Rural Affairs

As Election Day approaches and campaign advertising thickens, interesting developments are appearing on the horizon. Despite the divisive, hyper-partisan tenor of this election and the vitriol of many congressional races, there is a growing interest in participating in this midterm election, especially among rural voters.

Rural Americans will decide the outcome of a number of highly competitive congressional races. And rural voters may, in the end, determine which political party will be handed the reigns of Congressional leadership – at least for the next two years.

Rural voters in this election have a tremendous responsibility and opportunity, on Election Day and beyond. Congress is scheduled to rewrite the farm bill next year. The 2007 farm bill must not continue the status quo in farm and rural policy. Not if we hope to revitalize family farms, ranches and rural communities.

We must stop subsidizing farm consolidation by limiting farm program payments that mega farms use to drive smaller operations out of business and bar beginning farmers from getting started. And the farm bill must be refocused on real solutions to the challenges faced by rural Americans – conservation on working lands, support for beginning farmers and ranchers, and investment in entrepreneurship on farms, ranches, and rural main-streets.

Rural Americans can and should make their voices heard on every Election Day. But the farm debate and the future of rural America will hinge on whether they continue to stand up for rural America during all the other days, from this election to the next.

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it would be interesting to see which states and Congressional districts will be most influenced by rural voters, I don't mean statistically, just what people think (or, i guess, stats, if you got um

  • At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Montana - the rural vote certainly matters in Montana where Democratic candidate and farmer John Tester is trying to unseat the infamous Conrad Burns


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