Local Perspective: Better days are well and truly ahead for the rural economy | Columnists

Kate Bolz

I agree with President Biden, America’s best days are ahead of us, especially for people in rural Nebraska.

The Farm to Family grocery store in Hay Springs is stocked with fresh produce and meat from local and regional producers. It has a grocery store and energy efficient coolers and is supported by a cooperative of local community members.

Farm to Family is an example of the resilience and commitment to community found throughout rural Nebraska and wholeheartedly supported by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency. I believe this is a community model for rural communities around the world, demonstrating the strength and capabilities we have when we come together to do what is right.

As USDA RD State Director in Nebraska, I am proud of Farm to Family and the role our organization has played in providing grants to improve energy efficiency and free up capital for this local grocery store. .

Promoting energy efficiency, finding new approaches to address challenges in our food supply chain, and increasing the affordability of essential items for Nebraska families are all top priorities for the Biden administration. -Harris, as the president pointed out last week.

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Our job at USDA RD is to bring to life big goals and visions for our country in rural Nebraska. The country has faced profound challenges over the past year, and the people of rural America know it better than anyone.

Rural communities are resilient, and as the success of rural America goes, so does the rest of the country.

That’s why the progress we’ve made in rural Nebraska over the past year bodes well for everyone. By investing in water and broadband infrastructure, rural business opportunities, and America’s food supply chain, USDA RD helps communities build the foundation for sustained economic growth.

Through the Secured Food Supply Chain Loan Program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program, we are responding to the President’s call to create more resilient, diverse and secured. Promoting competition in the processing sector will mean fairer prices for farmers, greater value for workers, and more affordable, healthier food produced closer to home for families.

These investments create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. They help grow the economy from the bottom up and down the middle as the president said, and they help a circular economy where the resources and the wealth that we build in rural Nebraska stays right here in Nebraska.

This is just the beginning. In the State of the Union, President Biden pledged to provide affordable high-speed Internet access to all Americans – urban, suburban, rural and tribal communities, to increase our energy production through energy wind and solar and to continue to expand manufacturing in rural America.

Our USDA Rural Development team is committed to giving everyone a fair chance and providing equitable access to federal resources to build rural prosperity. That means making more stuff here at home, buying American-made products, strengthening our supply chains, and lowering costs for working families. That means supporting people in the communities they know and love, right here in Nebraska, from Hay Springs to Pawnee City and everywhere in between.

I’m optimistic about our future because I see the great work we’ve done, I know the great work we’re doing, and I know the people of Nebraska are smart, resilient, proud Americans who are the very fiber of this nation.

I know we’ve been through tough times and I know we’re getting through it. Americans have been through tough times before, and the result will be a stronger, more resilient nation, united in love for country and for each other. That’s why I believe our best days are ahead of us.

Kate Bolz lives in Lincoln, is originally from Otoe County, and is Nebraska State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency.

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