Rural residents discontent with current farm bill, according to poll

Jul 19, 2013

A new poll of rural residents in about 20 states indicates rural communities want and need economic help from the government, current farm bill is not enough.

As the debate over the purpose and programs in a new 500-billion-dollar farm bill drags on in Congress, a survey of people in rural areas shows most believe the federal government isn't paying much attention to their needs.

A poll commissioned by the Center for Rural Affairs says eight out of 10 rural voters believe the feds ought to be backing infrastructure projects to revitalize small towns, investing in better water and sewer systems, roads, and bridges.

Chuck Hassebrook is the executive director of the Center, and said rural communities want and need economic help from the government.

"Rural people believe their communities are worth fighting for," he said. "They strongly support government investing in small business development, in renewable energy, community development and other iitiatives to create good jobs and a better future for rural communities."

Three-quarters of those polled also said they support tax credits and investment in new transmission lines to encourage development of wind, solar and other renewable power generation in rural areas.

About 10 percent of Utah residents are considered rural- but 99 percent of the land is rural based on the U.S. Census definition.