ERIC Number: ED443645
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun
New Directions for U.S. Rural Policy. The Main Street Economist: Commentary on the Rural Economy.
Over 250 rural leaders attended the conference "Beyond Agriculture: New Policies for Rural America," held in Kansas City (Missouri) in April 2000. The conference began with an assessment of where the rural economy and rural policy are headed in the new century. Speakers suggested that the rural economy is likely to remain a mix of weakness and strength in the foreseeable future and that current U.S. rural policy--a motley collection of many different policies with no unifying mechanism--will not meet the challenges ahead. A fundamental rethinking of rural policy is needed to meet the challenges of the new century, particularly the need to improve educational attainment and worker training in rural areas, to fully integrate rural schools into telecommunication networks, and to move beyond policies focused on agriculture alone to more balanced rural development approaches. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan pointed to technology as the driving force of the rural economy in the new century. The second conference session examined how rural America can seize new economic opportunities and discussed ways to bolster three critical economic resources in rural areas: infrastructure, human capital, and leadership. The final conference session explored new directions for rural policy: shifting from a sectoral to a territorial focus, devolving policy administration to "new regions" that often cut across traditional political boundaries, coordinating policies across sectors, and pursuing new policy goals. Conference speakers are listed. (SV)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, MO. Center for the Study of Rural America.