Thu June 9, 2011

President Creates White House Rural Council, Colorado Likely to Benefit

Calling rural communities the “key to a stronger America” – President Barack Obama signed an executive order today establishing the first ever White House Rural Council.

The President says rural communities face unique challenges but also have economic potential. And developing that potential through investments is one of the goals of the new Rural Council. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack chairs the group.

“We’ll be focusing on jobs, agriculture, credit, innovation, networks, healthcare, education, infrastructure and housing, eco-system markets and broadband expansion.”

More than 687,000 Coloradans live in rural areas, half of the state’s 81 hospitals are rural and Colorado ranks 42nd in the nation for broadband connectivity. Colorado did receive an $878,000 thousand dollar USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant in January to help expand that access.