by John Crabtree, firstname.lastname@example.org
That is what my father often said to me. As a teenager I was always looking for a quicker way to get my farm chores done so I could spend time with friends.
My shortcuts most often yielded inferior results and took longer. But I would keep at it, thinking that there was a silver bullet solution just around the corner. Eventually my father would come around and say kindly, “how about you try what works.”
As I observe rural people working to revitalize their communities, I am often reminded of what my father told me. Everyone knows of rural communities that are rising against the tide. Everyone knows of the opposite too.
Rural Americans know that revitalizing rural communities will take hard work. Some communities will rebuild one business, one storefront, even one person at a time. There are no silver bullets.
The next farm bill is an opportunity to change course, a way to move away from policies that undermine rural communities. But will we? Do we have the courage and strength of purpose?
If you are concerned about these questions, you are not alone. The Center for Rural Affairs is building a National Rural Action Network, gathering tens of thousands of rural people, just like you, standing up to demonstrate that we do have the courage and the strength. Become a part of the action by contacting me or signing up at www.cfra.org/rural_action_network.htm. As my father might say, “how about we get together and try what works.”
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