President Obama To Create White House Rural Council

WASHINGTON (AP) - A White House official says President Barack Obama plans to create a special advisory council to recommend ways to boost the economic outlook and quality of life for people living
in rural areas of the U.S.

President Obama was expected to sign an executive order Thursday establishing the White House Rural Council. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will serve as chairman.

The panel will be responsible for providing recommendations on investment in rural areas. It will also be charged with coordinating with a variety of rural interests, including agricultural groups, small businesses, and state, local and tribal governments.

Its initial focus will be on job creation and economic development.

The official asked not to be identified in order to speak freely before a formal White House announcement about the council.