10,000 Friends of Rural America is an informal partnership of more than 30 nonpartisan national, regional and local nonprofits coordinated by Stand Up for Rural America, a project of The Center for Rural Strategies based in Whitesburg, KY. It was formed because we feel Rural America is not getting a fair share of the nation’s policy attention and investment for rural people and places by creating a fresh rural and urban voice to speak up and combat their growing marginalization.
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For the first time ever Rural America is losing population in absolute numbers, it is still losing jobs, unemployment is higher than in metro areas and so is poverty.
The basic legislation authorizing the federal Department of Agriculture expired twice and stalled in Congress delaying final passage for nearly three years.
Influential "conservative" and "liberal" Washington, D.C. think tanks push to reduce rural development resources, the former on the false premise that rural communites are better off than cities and the latter on the assumption that investment should be targeted to the two dozen big cities that already produce the most economic activity.
Philanthropy to strengthen rural communities is shrinking at the same time that public budget cuts are having a disproportionate negative impact on the same communities.
Most of the media coverage of rural America takes the form of “reality” TV, most of which showcases stereotypes rather than realities.
Pundits and politicians take rural voters for granted.