The top rural development official in the Obama administration told co-op leaders that they have an important role to play in expanding job opportunities and the quality of life in rural America.
“I want to join with those asking you to lead the charge,” said Dallas Tonsager, undersecretary for rural development in the Department of Agriculture. “I challenge each of you to be a catalyst for new growth and vitalities in your communities.”
Speaking at the NRECA Regions 1 & 4 meeting, Tonsager said the spirit rural America showed during creation of the Rural Electrification Administration 75 years ago still is applicable to 21st century problems.
“Today, you are called upon again to lift our nation out of the greatest recession since the REA was created,” he said. “You have the network, you have the teams, you have the capacity to help grow the economies in your rural communities, as well as providing power.”