INDIANAPOLIS - Rural Americans believe the federal government is ignoring their communities' needs, according to a new poll commissioned by the Center for Rural Affairs. Rural Affairs executive director Chuck Hassebrook said rural communities want and need economic help from the government.
"They believe strongly that their communities are worth fighting for, and their way of life is worth fighting for, but that Washington's not paying attention," he declared. "And in all honesty, you can see it in the current Farm Bill debate."
Nearly 9 in 10 polled believed the rural and small-town life is worth fighting for. Hassebrook said the poll makes an important statement about the values of rural America.
"We surveyed 800 people across close to 20 states," he said. "It's a good-sized sample and important findings that inform the entire nation about what rural people have to say about what's important for their communities."
Other findings from the poll show that three-fourths agree that too much of federal farm subsidies go to the largest farms, hurting smaller family farms. Three-fourths support tax credits and investment in new transmission lines for development of wind, solar and other renewable electric generation in rural areas. Eight in ten support grants and loans to revitalize small towns through upgrades to water and sewer systems and investments in roads and bridges.
After failing to pass a new Farm Bill last year, when the old one expired, the U.S. Senate and House have recently passed very different versions of a new measure.
(article and graphic provided by, Leigh DeNoon/Indiana News Service)