Testimony Presented to Senate Agriculture Committee
Lyons, Nebraska – Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director for the Center for Rural Affairs testified on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 in Washington D.C. to the US Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing. His testimony was on the impact of the 2007 farm bill on rural development.
“The 2007 farm bill presents an opportunity. Funds from the farm bill will benefit more rural Americans if they are invested in diversified business growth and other local rural American initiatives,” commented Hassebrook.
Hassebrook also offered support for the Rural Entrepreneur and Microenterprise Assistance Act that Senator Ben Nelson introduced at the hearing, stating that it would, “tap the rural development potential of small entrepreneurship.”
The Rural Entrepreneur and Microenterprise Assistance Act builds off a successful program Nelson instituted as governor. The Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund, created in 1997, has provided nearly 4500 loans – totaling $6.9 million – to Nebraska small businesses. The Center for Rural Affairs estimated that last year alone the program helped create or save 7500 jobs at a cost of just $330 per job.
“This program has been a success in Nebraska, but there is much more to be done and for that we need federal support,” said Nelson.
To view Chuck Hassebrook’s Statement:http://www.cfra.org/node/92
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.