FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 25, 2013
CONTACT: Alexandra Barniea at 202-224-5042
Senator Coons stresses importance of rural economy at summit in Washington
University of Delaware representatives, including the Dean of the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, joined the senators at the Capitol Hill event
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, participated in a half-day summit on Thursday on issues of importance to rural communities across our nation. The event was hosted by the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee and featured two moderated panels focused on rural economics, infrastructure, and access to critical services.
The panel highlighted the economic conditions facing rural communities and the agriculture industry, and what role the federal government can play in ensuring long-term support for the communities. Issues discussed during the summit include the importance of investing in the health of farmland, natural resources, and infrastructure. Another topic of discussion was connecting our farmers and ranchers with consumers, including individuals, schools, hospitals, and businesses.
“Our rural communities are central to our identity, our economy, and our values,” Senator Coons said. “Between our agriculture sector, environmental conservation, and tourism, it’s no surprise that Delaware’s rural communities are thriving. It’s important that we continue to facilitate an open dialogue between our rural communities and our elected officials to ensure we aren’t hindering their growth and development. I thank the members of the University of Delaware for attending today’s event and sharing their views on how we can strengthen our state’s rural areas.”
More than 200 rural development advocates attended the summit, including Mark Reiger, Dean of the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Delaware; Michelle Rodgers, Cooperative Extension Director, University of Delaware; and Melanie Allen, student, University of Delaware.
The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and community leaders from across the nation. The Steering Committee hosts regular meetings each year with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Democratic agenda in the Senate.