Fortune: Is Rural America the ‘New Inner City’? Land O’ Lakes CEO Beth Ford Thinks So

EXCERPT: “The problems facing farmers today seem ceaseless. Adverse conditions during planting season, an early frost that has begun to hit crops, and President Trump’s ongoing trade war are just a few of the factors weighing on American agriculture these days. Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes, and Denise Johnson, Resource Industries Group President of Caterpillar, spoke at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday about why improving the quality of life in rural America is the best way to alleviate the industry’s struggles as a whole. ‘Rural America is the new inner-city, we have to be clear about that,’ Ford said. ‘We probably have 4,000 to 5,000 retail outlets in rural communities, so the question is: can we use those platforms to solve bigger problems in the community?’ She thinks the answer is yes. Ford said a majority of her focus now is going toward promoting broadband accessibility for rural America in order to bolster economic development and social equity. Ford is also working to help her farmers obtain affordable healthcare. She said they have enough issues to worry about and healthcare should not be one of them.” FULL STORY: