Year 2016

White House Rural Forum

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the first chair of the White House Rural Council, will convene a White House Rural Forum at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa. to urge lawmakers, foundations and non-profits, and the private sector to recognize the opportunities in America’s rural communities to ensure continued progress for social and economic progress.

The event will be livestreamed to the public. Stakeholders can engage with @USDA (#RuralResults) on Twitter and Facebook to share their perspective on some of the most important challenges facing rural communities today, including economic growth, quality of life, access to nutritious food, and health care.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will convene a White House Rural Forum. He will be joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania State University Provost Nicholas Jones.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. ET

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Governor Tom Wolf
Nicholas Jones, Provost, Pennsylvania State University

Penn State University
HUB-Robeson Center (Hetzel Union Building, or HUB) State College, PA 16801

Livestream: Watch here

Agenda for White House Rural Summit
8:30-8:35 a.m.
Welcome by Nicholas Jones, Provost, Penn State University

8:35-9:00 a.m.
Opening Plenary Remarks by ​​Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture

9:00-10:00 a.m.
Panel 1: ​​​Economic Drivers in Rural America
Moderator:Lisa Mensah, USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development
Clay Walden, Mississippi Accelerating Jobs
Sue Suleski, Pennsylvania Dept. of Economic Development
John Flory, Latino Economic Development Center and Cooperative Mercado, Minnesota
Sara Smallwood, Director of Public Policy, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

10:00-10:40 a.m.
Interview​​​: Spotlight on the Future of Agriculture
Moderator: Russell Redding, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture​ Interviewees

Richard Roush, Dean of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University • Sophie Ackoff, National Field Director, National Younger Farmers Coalition • Emily Best, General Manager, Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative

10:40-11:30 a.m.
Panel 2​​​: Quality of Life in Rural America
​Moderator: Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Moises Loza, Executive Director, Housing Assistance Council
Commissioner Coolidge, Tioga County, PA
Daphne Gooding, VISTA member, Garrett County Community Action Committee,
Randy Reeves, President of the National Association of State Directors of Veteran’s Affairs, and Director of Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board
Chuck Fluharty, President, Rural Policy Research Institute

11:40-11:55 a.m.
Keynote Remarks​​: Hon. Tom Wolf, Governor of Pennsylvania

11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Media availability with Secretary Vilsack and Gov. Wolf