Address at the Cornell University Agricultural Leaders’ Forum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

March 24, 1966


Ithaca, NY

The word “rural” no longer means what it once did for us . . . Better transportation and communication services have caused those who live in the country to demand more and more the same kinds of services and opportunities that their city brethren are used to. And the cities have spread—and sprawled—across the countryside. What once was rural is often now suburban, or urban fringe. What remains rural is far less farm-oriented than it once was . . . The Traditions, the values, the sense of rootedness and the fundamental decency to be found in our small towns and farms are essential to a healthy nation. And I think we have lost as much of these traditions and values as we can afford to lose . . . The fact of changed circumstances in rural areas has given us a unique opportunity for rural resource development. We must not let the opportunity slip by.