A Welcome Message from The Honorable Mike Johanns, National Co-Chair and Nebraska State Chair

Communities thrive when their local leaders possess the necessary resources to succeed. The Center for Infrastructure and Economic Development (The Center) aims to provide support to local leaders and their communities as they move toward new methods of infrastructure and technology. I chose to be involved with The Center, because I want all rural communities to have these incredible opportunities.

Echoing the position of my own political career, the Center wants to keep agriculture at the heart of America’s rural communities through providing farmers and ranchers with a variety of tools for success. Growing up, my father owned a dairy farm which instilled in me a personal respect for farmers and all their hard work. Serving as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture allowed me to directly impact these communities through promoting land conservation, using scientific technology to aid farming practices, and fighting for the economic opportunities of American farmers and ranchers in foreign markets.

The Center aims to enable rural communities to utilize these options while also maintaining their core identities. Our agricultural communities provide the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and even the power for our homes and businesses. We want to honor and protect these communities by continuing to provide avenues for economic growth. Landowners, especially farmers and ranchers, now know using renewable energy is a proven avenue to steady incomes and ensuring land sustainability. The Center provides case studies and reports based on scientific research which illustrate the positive impact and steady benefits renewable energy has on rural communities. The Center wants local officials to strive for balanced policies which promote long-term economic growth and enable their communities to flourish.

Going forward, the Center wants to put America’s farmers and ranchers first through supporting their local communities and giving them the tools to succeed. We will continue current efforts like investing in future research, maintaining updated databases on relevant ordinances, and making sure local communities are consistently informed of the benefits available to them from working with renewable energy. Rural areas shouldn’t have to sacrifice economic growth to maintain their core values, and the Center hopes to pave the way for communities to step into a future that supports both.

Thank you,

Mike Johanns signature

The Honorable Mike Johanns

National Co-Chair and Nebraska State Chair