As part of AGree’s ongoing efforts to lay the groundwork for a common understanding of the complex issues facing our food and agriculture system, AGree has released two additional background papers we hope you will find to be a helpful resource and source of ideas.
On the heels of an election which sparked a nationwide discussion about shifting demographics, this new paper released by AGree and written by Kenneth M. Johnson of University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute examines demographic trends in rural America and implications for rural communities and policymakers alike. Overall population growth in rural America slowed precipitously in the last decade, and much of the growth that is occurring is fueled by minorities as the nation becomes increasingly diverse. Policies to address the needs of rural America must take account of both the growing diversity and regional differences in trends — some remote rural places, including traditional agricultural counties, are seeing deaths out number births, while other places are seeing retirement-driven growth or new, more diverse populations.
Recent U.S. efforts to reform and expand food aid and international agricultural development assistance programs have made important strides, but both sets of programs face severe pressure under the effort to reduce the federal budget deficit. This AGree background paper, written by former chief economist for the Senate Agriculture Committee Stephanie Mercier and incorporating insights from an expert panel of agricultural and food experts, discusses current U.S. policy on providing financial and/or technical assistance to countries facing economic difficulties or natural disasters, summarizes different perspectives about the current system and suggests areas for change – including suggestions for better coordination of activities under both umbrellas to simultaneously improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. response to international hunger and poverty. AGree harnesses the power of diverse viewpoints respectfully, intelligently, and productively in a process that yields practical results. In this way, we seek to help solve some of society’s most intractable problems.
We hope you find our latest research of interest, and invite you to visit www.FoodAndAgPolicy.org to learn more and join our effort to transform federal food and agriculture policy to meet the challenges of the future.