Vibrant Communities, Strong Nation

Our nation asks profound sacrifice of military members and families, but rarely asks much of the rest of us.
That is a problem because the profound challenges confronting America cannot be addressed without some sacrifice of immediate self-interest.  And many Americans are prepared to sacrifice for the common good. Many of you recognize that your future is bound to the well being of your community and nation.

Self-reliance and individual effort have been critical to American success.  And so has community.  America was built by people taking responsibility for their own success; and also working together to improve their communities and the nation.

Both were essential to the pioneers. It took great self-reliance to survive on the prairie. But survival also depended on neighbors helping neighbors. Only together could people build churches, schools, organizations, and communities. And only together, pursing the common good, can we today govern America effectively. 

That starts by looking to our values. At the Center for Rural Affairs we evaluate legislation by asking if it creates genuine opportunity for all, fosters widespread ownership and individual enterprise, and builds strong communities? Does it fulfill our obligation to leave the land to future generations as well as we receive it and does it ensure that all who contribute to America's prosperity share in it?

No team will be strong if its members are only out for themselves.  The same is true of communities and our nation.

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