“I believe a strong America depends on strong rural communities. For prosperity to be real and lasting, it has to take root… in small towns and in rural areas across the country.”
HILLARY, AUGUST 26, 2015
Despite their critical role in our economy, too many rural communities are not sharing in our nation’s economic gains. Unemployment and poverty are too high, agriculture earnings and commodity prices have recently declined, and necessary components to economic security—including accessible health care and affordable education—are often unavailable.
Hillary has a plan to strengthen rural America for the next generation, focusing on four key areas:
Spur investment to power the rural economy.
Many small and medium-sized businesses in rural communities are being held back by inadequate infrastructure, poor access to credit and capital, and insufficient incentives to invest.
Hillary will expand access to equity capital for businesses, expand the New Markets Tax Credit, and create a national infrastructure bank to improve rural transportation, water, and broadband infrastructure.
Raise agricultural production and profitability for family farms.
Farmers and ranchers supply food for America’s dinner tables, invest in farm machinery and supplies, and provide domestic energy resources that fuel small businesses. The agriculture economy also drives America’s larger economic success—accounting for about $800 billion in economic activity each year.
Hillary will increase funding to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers, invest in expanding local food markets and regional food systems, and provide a focused safety net to assist family operations that truly need support during challenging times.
Promote clean energy leadership and collaborative stewardship.
Hillary believes we must build on rural America’s clean energy leadership by developing clean fuels that will grow our economy, lower our energy bills, combat climate change, and make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.
Hillary will fully fund a program that provides assistance to producers who conserve and improve natural resources on their farms, strengthens the Renewable Fuel Standard, and doubles loan guarantees that support the bio-based economy’s dynamic growth.
Expand opportunity in rural communities across America.
Hillary believes that you should be able to live, work, and raise a family anywhere you choose. But increasingly, young Americans in rural areas have been forced to look outside of their communities to find quality health care, a good education, and stable jobs.
To ensure that every American has a solid foundation for success—wherever they choose to live—Hillary will double funding for Early Head Start and make pre-k universal for four year olds, enact free community college, and support telemedicine and Medicaid expansion.