Prepare Youth to Build a Better Rural America

We teach a lot in our schools, but there is something more we could be teaching and it could be a crucial tool for helping rural America thrive.

The Center for Rural Affairs proposes that in the Research and Education title of the 2007 farm bill, $50 million of mandatory funds go to the Entrepreneurship Education Program.  The Program would make grants to primary and secondary schools, four-year and community colleges, extension services, and non-profit organizations to provide entrepreneurship education to the youth of rural America.

As concluded by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, “entrepreneurs can generate new economic value for their communities. Entrepreneurs add jobs, raise incomes, create wealth, improve the quality of life of citizens and help rural communities operate in the global economy.”

The importance of small entrepreneurship is particularly profound in the most rural areas.  Nearly 60 percent of job growth in the 1990s came from people creating their own job by starting a small non farm business. Small entrepreneurship is the one development strategy that consistently works in these communities. It can create genuine opportunity across rural America with the support of a modest investment by the federal government.

Too often in rural America, we educate our young to move away. Later in life they may have the desire to move back to their rural communities, but lack both entrepreneurial education and encouragement from the community. This program would help educate rural people to create their future in rural America.

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Contact John Crabtree, or 402.687.2103 x 1010 or Elisha Smith, or 402.687.2103 x 1007 for more information.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a private nonprofit specializing in strengthening small businesses, rural communities, and family farms and ranches.

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