The Adequacy of Rural Capital Markets: Public Purpose and Policy Options
Mr. Chairman and Committee Members, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry regarding rural capital issues. Several perspectives inform my comments today. I am an Extension public policy economist at Iowa State University. I serve as a member of the Rural Policy Research Institute's (RUPRI) Rural Finance Task Force. Many of my comments are grounded in the RUPRI Task Force background white paper "The Adequacy of Rural Financial Markets." cited as one of the four studies for review and discussion at today's hearing. At the request of the ISU Vice Provost for Extension, I am leading a dialogue with a diverse group of spark plug rural community economic development and financial leaders on innovative rural capital projects in western Iowa. I am also a partner in a rural community housing development project. Finally, I have served as a city council member for Boone, Iowa population 12,500--a city that is wrestling with issues of economic development, infrastructure and housing from a rural community perspective.