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  Release No. 0308.11
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Heather Hartley, Public Information Coordinator
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  USDA Official Meets Ohio Business Leaders to Discuss Economic Growth and Job Creation
 

NELSONVILLE, Ohio, July 19, 2011 – USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein met with local business leaders today to explore ways federal, state and local officials can work together to improve economic conditions and create jobs. The meeting was part of a series of roundtables that are being held across the country this summer with senior Administration officials on behalf of the White House Business Council and White House Rural Council. Today's meeting was hosted by David Wilhelm, Co-founder and CEO of New Harvest Ventures, an alternative energy development company with headquarters in Gahanna, Ohio.

"I'm glad that the White House Business Council chose Nelsonville and southeastern Ohio as one of the places across the country where it is conducting meetings to drill down on the specific economic needs and opportunities in rural America," said Adelstein. "This meeting is an opportunity to better understand the challenges and economic potential in the Appalachian Ohio Region, and to discuss ways that the federal government can help the people of this area create jobs."

The White House Business Council's Winning the Future Roundtable with American Business is an opportunity for government leaders to hear directly from business leaders around the country about their ideas on how to grow the economy. This exchange also is intended to educate business and community leaders about USDA programs and other the resources within the federal government to help them compete and expand.

Adelstein shared recommendations provided by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, chair of the White House Rural Council. They called for investment in rural areas and federal engagement with a variety of rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, and state, local and tribal governments.

In June, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in our rural communities.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America's rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining and thriving economically.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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