Pa. hears about federal effort to bolster rural areas

    Aiming to keep rural areas thriving, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official recently visited Pennsylvania to promote a new federal plan.

    Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has met with business leaders and agricultural producers in Pennsylvania about ways to boost sales and create jobs.

    The trip comes two weeks after President Barack Obama established the White House Rural Council, which is designed to protect agricultural areas and will include the departments of Labor, Interior and Transportation.

    Merrigan said the effort will look at ways to curb the recent migration out of rural areas.

    “We need to have young people see opportunity in rural America. We want them to raise their families there, start businesses there, continue with the family farm there,” Merrigan said. “And if we want that to happen, we need to do some things differently.”

    Merrigan said the council is also looking to boost conservation efforts and education programs in rural areas. The council is expected to meet this summer.




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