One of the great things about being Secretary of Agriculture is that I get to see first-hand how truly vast our great nation is. It’s been my privilege to represent USDA and President Obama from Alaska to Florida and from North Dakota to New Mexico. Of course, I also spend quite a bit of time in the Midwest. The scope of rural America is truly awesome, and so are the challenges we face as we work to create jobs and improve the quality of rural life.
Earlier this week, I delivered the keynote address at the Council on Foundations Rural Philanthropy Conference in Kansas City, and I urged those in attendance to work hand-in-hand with us, our counterparts in state and local government, faith based organizations and non-profits to bring substantial, sustainable improvement to rural living conditions in small, rural communities across the country.