The Appearance of Green Shoots Despite the challenges

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The Appearance of Green Shoots § Despite the challenges of agricultural product tariffs, the

The Appearance of Green Shoots § Despite the challenges of agricultural product tariffs, the opioid crisis and media’s tendency to describe rural America as “flyover” states, the region is as optimistic as a new spring planting. § Like that next harvest, there is a stirring in the land not only to honor and preserve its traditions, but also to build upon those strengths with the careful introduction of new technologies and other innovations to grow a better future.

Rural Is the Origin of America § Although recent elections have exacerbated many of

Rural Is the Origin of America § Although recent elections have exacerbated many of the cultural and political differences of rural and coastal Americans – at the core, we’re all Americans. § The rural ethos was the original wellspring of the country and it continues to anchor us in timeless traditions as the country transitions to an exciting future. § Rural and coastal Americans share many of the same values: being self-sufficient, 72% and 73%; faith, 65% and 61%; cultural diversity, 51% and 51%; socioeconomic equality, 49% and 51%, respectively.

Positive Job Growth and Economic Output § According to The State of Heartland Factbook

Positive Job Growth and Economic Output § According to The State of Heartland Factbook 2018 from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and the Walton Family Foundation, all 19 states in the report have had positive job growth, or a 1. 3% increase from 2017, to 44. 4 million. § Economic output also increased from 2017 to 2018, or 1. 4%, to a total of $4. 9 trillion. Non-Heartland states increased their output by 1. 9%, or a total of $12. 8 trillion. § The average wage ($48 K and $49 K) and employment rate (72. 8% and 72. 4%) of Heartland non-Heartland states were very similar; however, Heartland states’ poverty rate, at 14. 6%, was larger than non-Heartland states, at 13. 8%.

The Rural Economy Is More Than Agriculture § Based on the latest data available,

The Rural Economy Is More Than Agriculture § Based on the latest data available, the 19 states in The State of Heartland Factbook are responsible for “a $1 trillion agri-food chain. ” During 2016, the US Heartland generated almost 55% of all US agriculture productivity. § Iowa, $29 billion; Nebraska, $23 billion; and Minnesota, $19 billion were the top three agricultural states during 2016 (latest data) in the 19 Heartland states. Collectively, they accounted for 17. 8% of the nation’s agricultural production. § The Heartland is also a big energy producer, from oil and gas in Oklahoma to hydraulic fracturing in North Dakota to corn-based biofuels from Iowa and thousands of wind turbines in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Slowly Adding Advanced Technologies § The Heartland is less recognized for its share of

Slowly Adding Advanced Technologies § The Heartland is less recognized for its share of advanced industries, but they were responsible for 9. 8% of the 19 Heartland states’ economic output, compared to 6. 3% in all other states combined. § Total advanced industries generated $855. 3 billion during 2016, compared to $2. 2 trillion from non. Heartland states, and $479. 7 billion in advanced manufacturing while non-Heartland states’ total was $810. 3 billion. § Agriculture has been slow to adopt advanced technologies, but that is changing, as global food demand is forecast to increase 50% by 2050. Investments from venture capitalists increased from $161 million during 2014 to $437 million during 2017.

Entrepreneurs Sprout Here Too § Businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators in Rural America are subject

Entrepreneurs Sprout Here Too § Businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators in Rural America are subject to many of the same challenges as those in the other states, but some are unique. § Many chose to become a business owner because of few other job openings in their communities. This was especially true after the Great Recession. § On the positive side, many rural small business owners became entrepreneurs because of their pride in their hometown, 61%, and their business would fit well with the local economy, 73%.

Optimism and Hard Work § In the Small Business Majority survey for its report,

Optimism and Hard Work § In the Small Business Majority survey for its report, Examining the Unique Opportunities and Challenges Facing Rural Small Businesses, 68% of participating rural SMBs rated their local economies 6 or more on a 10 -point scale. § The three top business challenges for rural SMBs are limited access to business services; limited access to a skilled, local workforce; and being in a remote location with limited access to broadband, goods and services and healthcare. § To strengthen their local economies and provide more opportunities, 35% (strongly agree) and 42% (somewhat agree) of rural SMBs would like their “state government to make more grants or other dollars available for economic development initiatives. ”

New Opportunities Require Capital Investments § Despite venture capitalists’ substantial increase in rural investments

New Opportunities Require Capital Investments § Despite venture capitalists’ substantial increase in rural investments noted on slide #6, the 19 -state region only received $3. 8 billion during 2017 of the total national amount of $74. 1 billion – and half of it, or $3. 8 billion, was invested just in Illinois. § A more recent report from the Walton Family Foundation, The American Heartland’s Position in the Innovative Economy, found the average rank for the 19 states was 32. 5 compared to 21. 2 for non. Heartland states. § The larger score indicates the 19 -stage region is not as ready as other states to grab its share of the innovation economy.

New Initiatives Will Give Rural America a Boost § Opportunity Zones – The Tax

New Initiatives Will Give Rural America a Boost § Opportunity Zones – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included this program that provides investors and business owners with tax breaks and other incentives. § Yardi Matrix compiled a list of the 20 counties most qualified for Opportunity Zone investments and only Washtenaw County in Michigan (#13) and Dane County in Wisconsin (#17) were from states in the 19 -state Heartland region. § Rural Innovation Initiative – This program could be of more value to Rural America than the Opportunity Zone program as its purpose is to increase local work spaces for remote work and provide digital training programs.

Shopping in the Heartland § It should come as no surprise that Heartland consumers

Shopping in the Heartland § It should come as no surprise that Heartland consumers buy the same products and services as the rest of us. § They similarly prefer to shop in physical stores, so said 46% in Fluent’s Marketing to Heartland 2017, Part 3: How and Where Americans Shop. § Their reasons for shopping in physical stores are also similar: see/try items in person, rural, 73%; suburban, 75%; and urban, 73%; however, lower prices are important to rural Americans, at 42%, with suburban, 32% and urban, 39%.

Less Online Purchasing § Among Heartland consumers, 55% made an online purchase via a

Less Online Purchasing § Among Heartland consumers, 55% made an online purchase via a computer while 60% of coastal consumers did. Similarly, purchases via a smartphone were 41% and 46%, respectively. § A primary reason fewer Heartland all rural consumers purchase online is 15% of adults who don’t use the Internet live in rural communities, according Pew Research Center data from a January/February 2019 survey. § Rural Americans also do online research for a product prior to purchasing at a lower rate than suburban and urban Americans, at 32%, 42% and 46%, respectively. Plus, 26% never do, compared to suburban, 14%, and urban, 15%.

Media Habits § Ironically, households in the 26 Heartland states were less likely to

Media Habits § Ironically, households in the 26 Heartland states were less likely to have cable TV services, although the original purpose of cable was to provide rural communities with more TV access – total US, 67%; rural, 55%; suburban, 75%; and urban, 67%. § Rural households were also less likely to subscribe to a streaming service – rural, 41%; suburban, 51%; and urban, 47%, and have a streaming player – rural, 38%; suburban, 49%; and urban, 49%. § Heartland consumers seem to use social media (at least monthly) as much as their coastal counterparts, with Facebook, 75% and 79%; Instagram, 27% and 25%; Snapchat, 16% and 19%; and Twitter, 15% and 16%, respectively.

Communities without News § In a report released during October 2018, the University of

Communities without News § In a report released during October 2018, the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism revealed more than 1, 300 communities have lost all local news coverage. § The South region has the most counties without newspapers, or 91, with Mountain state, 28, and the Midwest, 27. § Most of the counties in the US without a newspaper, or only one, stretch from Texas due north to North Dakota, with Nebraska having the most counties (7) without a newspaper, followed by Oklahoma, 4.

Digitalizing Rural America § As mentioned on other slides of this Special Report, Rural

Digitalizing Rural America § As mentioned on other slides of this Special Report, Rural America is a step or two behind the rest of the country as it relates to investments in the tech sector. Plus, there are fewer graduates from local colleges ready to work in those industries. § Although smartphone ownership among rural Americans is almost the same as suburban and rural Americans, or 85%, 86% and 90%, respectively, they are in the minority for ownership of other devices. § A positive step for the future is Microsoft’s Rural Airband initiative that announced during December 2018 it will be able to provide 3 million rural residents with broadband access by 2022, or 1 million more than the original projection.

Unprepared for Automation § A January 2019 report, Automation and Artificial Intelligence from the

Unprepared for Automation § A January 2019 report, Automation and Artificial Intelligence from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, concluded that 6 of the 19 Heartland states had the highest average, or 47%– 48%, for their jobs being vulnerable to automation. § Two of the states – Arkansas and Mississippi – could be negatively affected because less than 25% of their adults have earned a bachelor’s degree. § Plus, approximately 40% of the jobs in these states are in industries, such as accommodation and food services, manufacturing and agriculture, which include many repetitive tasks that automation is predicted to replace first.