The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dale Wiehoff, 612-870-3401,

Rural Summit to Bring Together Policymakers, Rural Residents

USDA Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager to Keynote


USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and other
national, state and local-level policymakers will join rural residents at the Midwest Rural
Assembly in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, August 10-11.

The Assembly will focus on rural economic and community development issues and
opportunities, and will give rural residents a chance to speak directly with policymakers
about rural policy priorities.

"This is a great opportunity for rural residents throughout the Midwest to connect
with each other, with their elected officials, and make their voices heard," said Jim
Kleinschmit, director of the Rural Communities program at the Institute for Agriculture
and Trade Policy (IATP).

IATP, the Rural Learning Center in Howard, South Dakota, and more than 20 other
organizations from around the Midwest are putting on this two-day event, which will also
feature Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Nebraska State Rural Development
Director Maxine Moul, Nominated South Dakota State Rural Development Direct Elsie
Meeks, and Minnesota State Rural Director Colleen Landkamer.

Plenary panels and participatory sessions will focus on topics such as rural health care
and education, sustainable working landscapes, rural technology access and leadership

Registration for the event includes locally sourced meals and admission to all keynote and
plenary sessions.

An agenda for the event and registration information can be found at:

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.