One of President Trump’s campaign messages that helped him get elected was his promise to improve the economy for rural Americans.
To do so, the president signed an executive order in April to create the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.
The Task Force met for the first time Thursday, and it’s comprised of mostly cabinet secretaries in the Trump Administration. It includes members from 23 different government departments.
The mission is to improve quality of life in rural America by spurring innovation, improving internet access and rolling back regulations to allow communities to grow. Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture and head of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chairs the group.
While the group isn’t directly connected to the 2018 Farm Bill, Perdue says there could be some benefits to the legislation.
“This is not a Farm Bill-specific task force or interagency working group, but I think the things we hear can inform the Farm Bill regarding safety net and other things that can help in that regard,” said Perdue.
To stress the importance of rural development, Perdue named Anne Hazlett as his assistant to the secretary for rural development. With Perdue’s reorganization, Hazlett’s position replaces an undersecretary post which would have required Senate confirmation.
The Interagency Task Force has 180 days to develop a plan and submit it to President Trump.