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Beyond agriculture : new policies for rural America : a conference summary


  • Mark Drabenstott


More than 250 rural leaders from throughout the nation and beyond gathered at a special conference in Kansas City in April to discuss rural America's future, its challenges, and policies to meet those challenges. The conference was the first in a new series sponsored by the Center for the Study of Rural America. Fifteen distinguished economists and rural experts made presentations at the conference, with keynote remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Conference participants represented all regions of rural America, five foreign nations, and many walks of life--business, agriculture, banking, universities, and public officials at the federal, state, and local levels.> Drabenstott, the Center's Director, summarizes the presentations made at the conference. Participants agreed that the current pattern of uneven rural growth is likely to persist, leaving many rural communities searching for new sources of growth. Another point of agreement was that agriculture will remain a key sector to the rural economy, but not big enough to assure strong growth in many parts of the nation. A strong consensus formed around the need to connect rural America to the digital economy, and to raise the skills of workers and leaders to compete more effectively. While there was no consensus on which new policy direction holds the greatest promise for rural America, there was general agreement that new paths are essential if rural America is to seize its full economic potential.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Drabenstott, 2000. "Beyond agriculture : new policies for rural America : a conference summary," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 39-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2000:i:qiii:p:39-45:n:v.85no.3

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    Agriculture ; Rural areas ; Rural development;


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