Rural jobs wiped out by coronavirus, says survey

Fifteen percent of rural Americans surveyed in the past week said they had either lost their job or were laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic, and an additional 14 percent said they were worried they would lose their jobs, according to the results of a survey released on Thursday. (No paywall)

House Ag chair Peterson, a GOP target, runs for re-election

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, a conservative Democrat in a Republican-leaning district, announced he would seek re-election in November, saying he was worried rural America is being left behind. President Trump has endorsed a Republican challenger against Peterson, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, in a contest that is regarded as a toss-up.

Number of U.S. farms down 3 percent in five years

The USDA estimates there were 2.023 million farms in the nation in 2019, a tiny decline of 5,800 farms from the previous year. The change is more dramatic when the time frame is widened — there are 3 percent fewer farms now than there were in 2014, and the amount of farmland fell 1.3 percent during that five-year period.

Urban-rural poverty gap has widened since the Great Recession

For decades, the poverty rate has been higher in rural America than in metropolitan areas, a situation often attributed to an older, lower-paid, and less-educated rural population. A new USDA report says the gap between rural and urban areas widened, to 3.5 percentage points, during the economic recovery that began a decade ago.

Perdue puts his ‘Sonnyside’ on display as podcaster

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will release the first episode of his own podcast today — a chat with former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who describes how much President Trump “loves America’s farmers and ranchers.”

Report: Rural America is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to policy

A comparatively small portion of the U.S. population, roughly 60 million of the nearly 330 million residents, lives in rural America. But that portion is spread across 97 percent of the nation's land. A new report from the American Communities Project at George Washington University says the immense diversity of rural America defeats the usual approach of a "one size fits all" policy for rural economic growth, even with adjustments for geographic regions or economic sectors.

Growing portion of Democratic ‘aggies’ supports investigation of Trump

Although President Trump remains popular in rural America, 13 of the 32 Democrats serving on two food and agriculture panels in the House support an impeachment inquiry of the president. Among them are three House Agriculture Committee members who called for action this week, following reports …

Poverty rate returns to pre-recession level in rural America

After cresting at 17.7 percent during the slow recovery from the Great Recession, the rural poverty rate is back at pre-recession levels, said the Census Bureau on Tuesday. But the growth in household income that accompanied four years of declines in the poverty rate nationwide has slowed, and …

As Trump’s trade agenda falters, Dems see rural America in play for 2020

After years of effectively writing off rural voters, based on their solid support for the GOP, Democratic candidates for the White House are suddenly turning up frequently in Iowa — where the primary season kicks off in February — and rolling out rural initiatives on everything from ethanol and broadband to crop subsidies and healthcare. 

SNAP boosted rural employment during the Great Recession

The Obama administration’s increase in food stamp benefits during the Great Recession “had a positive average impact on county-level employment” in rural areas, says a USDA report.