Rural Entrepreneurial Development in Farm Bill Proposal
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: http://www.cfra.org/policy/2007