Monday, November 10, 2008

A new deal needed for a new century

Perhaps something good can come out of the economic turmoil gripping the country. Maybe in President-elect Barack Obama's administration can make a new "New Deal" to benefit rural Americans in the 21st century. One legacy of the 20th century Depression was the development of infrastructure that brought electricity and phone service to rural residents.

Hopefully, one of the outcomes of addressing job losses and other symptoms of the current economic collapse will be to put people back to work to address the 21st century divide between urban and rural Americans that exists in cyberspace. Rural residents need better, faster, less expensive access to Internet services to provide the same educational and business opportunities for people who live in the country that exist in urban neighborhoods.

Of course, farmers and ranchers will have to embrace and use that technology too in order to get the benefit out of it. Of course, some won't. As in early generations, some folks stubbornly took pride in still having a working outhouse, or the fact that their mail was only delivered 3 days a week. But the fact of the matter is that in order for farmers and ranchers to compete in the global agriculture economy, they need to have access to and utilize the tools of the modern world. Yes, you can still harvest a grain field with a team of horses, but does it make the best business sense to do so?

No comments:

Ag in the West social media watch

Capital Press videos on YouTube

Our most popular videos