Rural Entrepreneurial Development in Farm Bill Proposal

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John Crabtree,, (402) 687-2103 ext 1010
LYONS, NE - Representative Mike McIntyre’s rural development proposal for the 2007 farm bill will create jobs, income and economic opportunity in rural North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Rural Center of Raleigh and the Center for Rural Affairs, located in Lyons, NE.
“There’s no greater priority for the future of rural America than development of our entrepreneurship base,” said Billy Ray Hall, president of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.  “In states like North Carolina – where we’ve lost so many major employers in rural areas – we must look to our entrepreneurs and small businesses to generate jobs for rural workers.  Last year alone, small businesses were responsible for creating 14,000 net new jobs in the state’s 85 rural counties.”

Rural development organizations praised the inclusion of the Rural Entrepreneur and Microenterprise Assistance Program in the subcommittee’s draft Rural Development title of the 2007 farm bill.

“Programs that encourage valued-added agriculture, small business and rural development are crucial to the future of our rural communities, and today the House Agriculture Committee, Chairman Collin Peterson and Subcommittee Chair Mike McIntyre demonstrated a strong commitment to building that future,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs.  “Now we must work with members of the committee to find the funding to fulfill the promise of this legislation.”

The Rural Entrepreneur and Microenterprise Program would fund organizations and colleges to provide loans, business training and technical assistance to rural small businesses.  Also included in today’s legislation is the Value-Added Producer Grants Program, which funds farmers’ and cooperatives’ pursuit of new, value-added markets that increase farm income.

The 2007 farm bill will govern farm and rural policy for the next five years.   A wide array of organizations have called for increased rural development funding in the 2007 farm bill, including the Center for Rural Affairs, North Carolina Rural Center, National Association of Counties, National Association of Development Organizations.

“The 2007 farm bill provides a singular opportunity to invest in proven strategies to revitalize rural communities, and today’s legislation is a crucial first step toward creating genuine opportunity across rural America.  We congratulate Chairman McIntyre and the entire subcommittee for their hard work and dedication to rural America,” said Hassebrook.

View the Center for Rural Affairs’ 2007 farm bill proposals at:


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