What We Do

The Rural Coalition’s charter members joined together in 1978 to bring their combined experience and skills to bear on national policies affecting rural people and communities, mapping an ambitious course in the guiding principles to which all Rural Coalition member organizations past and present subscribe:

  • Justice and equal opportunity are the right of all people regardless of race, gender, or place of residence.

  • All rural people are entitled to the goods and services essential to a decent quality of life, including education, health and employment services, housing, and basic community facilities. They are also entitled to democratic community institutions dedicated to serving their interests.

  • The long-term viability of rural communities rests on effective control and use of resources by the people living in rural areas, including family farmers, local business people and working people of all walks of life.

  • Community-based organizations are instrumental in the development of rural communities. Public policy should encourage their growth and strength.

  • The federal government has responsibility to ensure the rights of all citizens and to help secure the fulfillment of these rights.

Consistent with its commitment to these guiding principles, the Rural Coalition continues work toward two, long-range goals:

  • The development and implementation of progressive policies responsive to rural needs.

  • The development of the capacities of rural organizations and people to work effectively for and sustain institutional and systematic change.

Our long-term efforts with our members focus on the creation and implementation of policies to support these goals and economic development efforts to strengthen communities, bridge the digital divide, and access better markets for their products. In addition to our policy work to ensure equitable access to federal programs, RC conducts participatory research, community planning, and technical assistance that strengthen the capacities of our members to secure dignity, equity, and justice for all farmers, ranchers, and workers as well as to protect and care for their land, market their products, and build new systems of exchange among communities dedicated to assuring a future for their children and children’s children.