Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is emphasizing investment in small towns to help strengthen rural America as part of a plan released after she was endorsed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Clinton will announce her “Plan for a Vibrant Rural America” in Iowa Wednesday, a day after Vilsack, the state’s former governor, endorsed Clinton for 2016 in an opinion column in the Cedar-Rapids Gazette. Vilsack backed the former secretary of state in her 2008 White House bid.
Clinton’s proposal would strengthen the Renewable Fuels Standard and increase the number of companies investing in rural businesses, according to a fact sheet released by the campaign. Simplified regulations for community banks and boosting farm income through a “strong local and regional food system” are among other proposals.
“Despite their critical role in our economy, too many rural communities are not sharing in our nation’s economic gains,” according to the fact sheet. “We must do more to ensure the vitality of our rural areas.”
U.S. farmer profits, a gauge of rural economic health, will fall 36 percent this year to $58.3 billion, the lowest since 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.