July 2, 2009
President Obama this week announced the launch of his administration's Rural Tour. This summer, top administration officials will fan out across the nation to hold a series of discussions on how communities, states and the federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America.
Vice President Joe Biden and Secretaries Gary Locke and Tom Vilsack kicked off the Rural Tour on July 1 by visiting Wattsburg, Penn., to discuss the issue of rural broadband.
"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."
Administration officials participating in the Rural Tour will hear about the diverse set of challenges and opportunities facing the small towns and rural communities that are so integral to the fabric of American life. They will share some of the Administration's ideas about how to nurture strong, robust and vibrant rural communities. And, when they have heard from the people, they will report back to the president about the state of rural America and what the administration can do to strengthen it.
Rural Tour events planned so far include La Crosse, Wisc., July 16; Ringgold, Va., July 18; St. John's Parish, La., July 20; Bethal, Ark., Aug. 12; Zanesville, Ohio, Aug. 16; Hamlet, N.C., Aug. 17; Scottsbluff, Neb., Sept. 28; Las Cruces, N.M. and Sept. 30.