WASHINGTON D.C., June 30, 2009 - President Obama announced the launch of his Administration's Rural Tour to hold discussions on how communities, states, and the federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America. During July, August and September top Administration officials will fan out across the nation to hold a series of discussion on how to best implement programs and funds made available by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack on
Rural Tour in Kentucky in May.
The Rural Tour is a continuation of a program begun by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that had recently held forums across the country. Cabinet members on the Rural Tour led by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack include Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and others.
"A healthy American economy depends on a prosperous rural America," President Obama said. "Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities. That's why we're going out to hear directly from the people of rural America about their needs and concerns and what my Administration can do to support them."
These events will serve as listening sessions to focus on such issues as broad-based rural health, economic development, infrastructure, education, energy, natural resources, and agriculture. Officials will share some of the Administration's ideas about how to nurture strong, robust, and vibrant rural communities, and they will report back to the President about the state of rural America and what the Administration can do to strengthen it.
Rural Tour Schedule
July 1 - Vice President Joe Biden and Secretaries Gary Locke and TomVilsack will travel to Wattsburg, PA, to discuss rural broadband.
July 16 - Secretaries Ray LaHood and Tom Vilsack will travel to La Crosse, WI, to discuss rural economic development.
July 18 - Secretaries Steven Chu and Tom Vilsack will travel to Ringgold, VA, to discuss green jobs and a new energy economy, with a focus on weatherization and carbon sequestration.
July 20 - Secretaries Kathleen Sebelius, Eric Shinseki, Hilda Solis and Tom Vilsack will travel to St. John's Parish, LA, to discuss rural healthcare.
August 12 - Secretaries Steven Chu, Shaun Donovan, Arne Duncan, Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack will travel to Bethel, AK, to discuss rural infrastructure, green jobs and a new energy economy, as well as climate change.
August 16 - Secretaries Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack will travel to Zanesville, OH, to discuss green jobs and a new energy economy, with a focus on renewable energies.
August 17 - Secretaries Arne Duncan and Tom Vilsack will travel to Hamlet, NC, to discuss rural education.
September 28 - Secretaries Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack will travel to Scottsbluff, NE, to discuss production agriculture.
September 30 - Secretaries Shaun Donovan and Tom Vilsack will travel to Las Cruces, NM, to discuss rural infrastructure.
For additional information visit the Rural Tour web site.