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ARC Ready to Work with Local Leaders to Address Drought Problems, Says Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl

August 2012

Photo of President Obama leading the August 7, 2012, White House Rural Council meeting on the administration's effort to address drought issues in rural areas.
President Obama addresses the White House Rural Council on August 7, 2012. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is at left; SBA Administrator Karen Mills is at right. ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl is seated behind the president. (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

WASHINGTON, August 8, 2012—Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl welcomes the Obama administration's proactive stance in addressing the drought conditions affecting much of the nation, including some areas of Appalachia. Following a meeting yesterday with the members of the White House Rural Council in response to the drought, Gohl described a multi-agency, concerted effort to bring relief to affected counties.

"President Obama called yesterday's meeting of the White House Rural Council as an 'all hands on deck' session to make sure the federal government is engaged and proactive in working to mitigate the impact of the drought on farmers and ranchers as well as communities, small businesses, and individuals," said Gohl. "While 56 counties in the Appalachian Region have been designated by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for drought assistance, the Region has been fortunate in evading the harshest effects of the drought. ARC will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to work with our local leaders to address whatever problems emerge."

The White House Rural Council, of which ARC is a member agency, was established to help rural communities address challenges and fulfill their economic potential. To that end, it is engaged in coordinating programs across government to encourage public-private partnerships to promote further economic prosperity and quality of life in rural communities nationwide.