A group of more than 40 organizations sent a letter to the White House on Thursday asking President Donald Trump to make rural America a priority during his administration.
This follows the letter last month from agricultural groups asking the president to focus on trade to help farmers. And another letter Monday by 87 agriculture groups and companies urged the administration to work hard to improve trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
The signers of Thursday's letter ranged from Farm Credit lenders to community college leaders, rural development advocates and farm organizations.
The groups noted in the letter to the president, "As you witnessed first-hand during the campaign, the issues facing rural America are no less significant than those facing urban parts of the country, but can more easily be overlooked because America’s small towns and rural areas make up just 15 percent of the nation’s population.
"As you continue to develop the team that will assist you in leading the nation for the next four years, we respectfully request that you keep the needs of our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and residents of small communities high on the priority list for your administration. Multiple federal agencies have an impact on rural areas, and coordination among those agencies is essential to ensuring that the resources of the Federal government are efficiently and effectively used.
"To help ensure a focused and coordinated effort to address the needs of rural areas, we suggest a designated senior member of the White House staff and/or an Office of Rural Policy within the Executive Office of the President to focus specifically on rural issues. Such an individual or office could become an added voice to ensure that the interests of rural Americans are addressed across the highest levels of your Administration."
Those signing the letter included,
AgFirst Farm Credit Bank
American Association of Community Colleges
American Association of Crop Insurers
American Sugar Alliance
Center for Rural Affairs
Crop Insurance Professionals Association
Fair Food Network
Farm Credit Bank of Texas
Farm Credit Council
Housing Assistance Council
National Association of Counties
National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils (RC&D)
National Association of Towns and Townships
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Cooperative Business Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC)
National Farmers Union
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Peach Council
National Pork Producers Council
National Rural Economic Developers (NREDA)
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC)
National Sorghum Producers
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association
Panhandle Peanut Growers Association
Partners for Rural America
Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC)
Rural Community Assistance Partnership Inc. (RCAP)
Select Milk Producers
Southern Peanut Farmers Federation
Southwest Council of Agribusiness
Western Peanut Growers Association
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