Journal Article

Exploring policy options for a new rural America : a conference summary

Abstract: The United States needs a new rural policy. That was the conclusion of ten policy experts and 250 rural leaders from throughout the nation who met in Kansas City for the Center for the Study of Rural America?s second annual conference on rural policy matters, Exploring Policy Options for a New Rural America. The conference examined a menu of promising policy options and also considered ways to combine these options into a more coherent overall approach to the challenges facing rural communities.> Drabenstott and Sheaff highlight the issues raised at the conference. Participants agreed that new rural policy will be needed to help local communities seize the economic opportunities ahead. Fostering more entrepreneurs and tapping digital technology will be critical ingredients of a new policy approach. Participants also agreed that capital?especially equity capital?will be an important part of the mix. Cooperation among firms and communities was a major theme in discussing ways to reinvigorate traditional rural industries, whether helping manufacturing clusters to form, encouraging new alliances in a more product-oriented agriculture, or helping rural places make more of their scenic amenities.> Perhaps the most challenging discussion at the conference centered on building a new overall framework for rural policy and a new slate of policy options. The United Kingdom and Italy provided interesting new experiments in rural policy. Yet participants concluded that moving the United States from a longstanding reliance on supporting one sector to a broader focus on rural policy will not be easy. No matter how difficult, though, participants agreed that the transition was one worth making.

Keywords: Rural development; Rural areas;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Part of Series: Economic Review

Publication Date: 2001

Volume: 86

Issue: Q III

Pages: 65-77