In keeping with President Donald Trump’s executive order establishing the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue launched the effort on Thursday along with representatives from 22 federal agencies that are taking on the wide-ranging initiative.

The task force will work to find ways to increase jobs, housing and educational opportunities for America’s rural communities, and to remove obstacles, such as burdensome regulations, and to improve infrastructure and access to technology.

The task force held its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C., and attendees included Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai, and other government officials.

“What we began here today is to lay a fertile seed bed in rural America, where good things can grow,” Perdue said. He went on:

Rural America has been struggling under burdensome regulations, but the leaders we gathered today are willing to work together to turn that around.

By establishing this task force, President Trump showed his commitment to prioritizing the prosperity of the farmers and ranchers of America’s heartland, as well as all citizens living in rural communities across this great country.

Guided by the President at the helm, and with Secretaries Carson and Perry, Director Mulvaney, Trade Representative Lighthizer, and so many others, we are telling rural America that we’re here, we’re listening, and we’re going to help provide you with the resources, tools, and support to build robust, sustainable communities for generations to come.

When asked by Breitbart News why Perdue’s agency is taking the lead on implementing Trump’s order, the Secretary said the president knows that rural Americans aren’t enjoying the same economic uptick that the rest of Americans are enjoying and that rural communities are represented in every state.

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