Friday, September 21, 2007

The Perennial Question: What (or where) is "Rural"?

This discussion of yet another definition of rurality, this one for purposes of the farm bill, touches on one of the issues that has come up in class: wealthy resort areas with small year-round populations that qualify them as "rural" for some purposes. (Be sure to see the list of such communities -- Telluride, CO among them! -- at the end of the piece.) The example highlighted here is Provincetown, Massachusetts, on ritzy Cape Cod, which received a $1.95 million loan from USDA to construct a dock (to ship the peninsula's surplus produce?) and $3 million in grants and loans to build an art gallery. Not exactly what I think of when I contemplate rural America and the challenges facing rural places.

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