Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Renew Rural Georgia!

It’s a question I always ask. Here are my five guiding strategies for rural communities here in ther state, that provide the economic foundation of rural communities.

1. Communities are stronger when more of the people working on farms and in businesses have the opportunity to own them. Quality jobs are also an asset for communities. But we must not overlook self-employment. Local owners are more committed to the community than distant corporations – which often leave at the drop of a hat.

2. Economic development need not and should not come at the expense of environment. To the contrary, environmental protection is a development asset. Products produced in ways that protect the environment have an edge in the market. And communities with a quality environment enjoy an edge in keeping and attracting families.

3. Communities that invest in themselves – in quality schools, swimming pools, recreation, etc. – can better keep and attract the young families that energize communities and create new businesses.

4. Community development should serve the entire community. It cannot neglect the needs of the poor. When some are left behind, the community is weakened and all suffer the resulting social and community breakdown.

5. Agriculture and non-farm rural development should be integrated. We must revitalize family farming and ranching and capture more food system profit close to home to enhance the contribution of agriculture to the community. But agriculture alone cannot revitalize our communities. We must also pursue non-farm strategies – especially small business development.

These five ideas I mentioned would go a long way to revitalize rural georgia as a place that people would want to come live, not a place people want to leave, especially young people. This is just the first of many ideas that I hope the next governor (hopefully a democrat) will begin to worj on. NOW IS THE TIME!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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