Addressing issues, initiatives, policies and regulations dealing specifically with water quality and agricultural production.
The Value of Rural Communities
What is “Rural?” (Updated May, 2016. Original edition: 2006) USDA acknowledges there are many definitions of “rural” and often selects a specific definition based upon the purpose an activity. Often, “rural” is defined more by what it is not, rather than what it is. In other words, metro/urban areas are first defined and then, “rural” is defined by exclusion — any area that is not metro/urban is non metro/rural. “The General Accounting Office, in its publication Rural Development: Profile of rural Areas, pp. 26-31, discusses the three most common Federal definitions of rural:
Dept. of Commerce’s Bureau of Census
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Rural America at a Glance (USDA -Economic Research Service 2017 Edition) – “…[Rural areas’] employment increased modestly since 2011… and Infrastructure investments, like expanding broadband internet access, could improve future economic performance…[however,] many rural areas face unique challenges…Overall, the rural population is shrinking for the first time on record, due to several factors, including long-term outmigration of young adults, fewer births, increased mortality among working-age adults, and an aging population. Also, reclassification of fast-growing counties from rural to urban impacts statistics….Rural employment has not returned to its pre-recession level, and job growth since 2011 has been well below the urban growth rate. Median incomes remain below those of urban areas, and rural poverty rates are higher.” https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/85740/eib-182.pdf?v=43054
Defining Modern Rural America and How It Shapes Nation’s Future (The Conversation, February 20, 2017) – “Rural America” is a deceptively simple term for a remarkably diverse collection of places. It includes nearly 72 percent of the land area of the United States and 46 million people..”Rural people and issues generally receive little attention from the urban-centric media and policy elites. Yet, rural America makes unique contributions to the nation’s character and culture as well as provides most of its food, raw materials, drinking water and clean air.” https://theconversation.com/where-is-rural-america-and-what-does-it-look-like-72045