Kansas City, Mo. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says a new federal effort to help rural areas needs input from the private sector.
Vilsack was speaking Wednesday to the Council on Foundations' Rural Philanthropy Conference in Kansas City.
He said the White House Rural Council, which was created last month and is chaired by Vilsack, needs to hear from private foundations and the people who donate to them. Vilsack said such collaboration will lead to better outcomes for rural residents.
The rural council is responsible for providing recommendations to President Barack Obama on investment in rural areas, as well as coordinating with a variety of rural interests.
Earlier Wednesday, Vilsack also announced that rural telecommunications companies have been selected to get nearly $192 million in loans for broadband projects in Kansas, Missouri and six other states.