Despite this year’s drought, the under secretary for rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dallas Tonsager, believes the economies of rural areas throughout the country are “getting better.”
Tonsager says the agriculture sector has been doing “extremely well” over the last few years, and that’s helped the nation’s overall rural economy. He says, however, there are still some areas of great poverty, but progress has been made.
Tonsager spoke today at the Rural Economic Developers Association conference in Indianapolis.
He says a key element to improve non-urban economies remains the expansion of broadband infrastructure. Tonsager had visited a hospital in Greencastle this week, which considers broadband a vital addition to help the medical facility address people’s health care challenges.
The broadband access investment was financed by USDA.
As for this summer’s drought, Tonsager says the potential to at least temporarily derail rural economic progress is a concern, but he points out that the country is still on pace for its third largest corn crop in history.
Source: Inside INdiana Business