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Rural renaissance: How investments in transmission modernization can drive rural economic development/webinar


4/7/22 11:00 am to 12:00 pm EDT

Event Description

How can we create more jobs in Rural America? That question is at the heart of an upcoming April 7 Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc. webinar, “Rural renaissance: How investments in transmission modernization can drive rural economic development.” This complimentary one-hour program will discuss expanding and modernizing the electrical grid in Rural America.

“As more people and companies look at escaping crowded urban areas and finding their place in Rural America, it’s important for them to have reliable infrastructure,” says Agri-Pulse Founder and Editor Sara Wyant, who will moderate the event. “Our conversation will cover not only current conditions, but we’ll discuss much-needed improvements.”

The webinar will take place at 11 a.m. ET and is sponsored by the Americans for a Clean Energy Grid. Speakers will address how expanding, integrating and modernizing the North American high-voltage grid can drive rural economic development. You can sign up for this free webinar by clicking on this link.

Speakers include:

USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small was confirmed to her position in 2021. Before coming to Rural Development, Torres Small was a United States Representative for the fifth largest district in the country. She was the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico’s second congressional district. She served on the Rural Broadband Taskforce, the House Armed Services Committee and as chairwoman of the Oversight, Management, and Accountability subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee and was a member of the House Agriculture Committee. Torres Small has a law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and an international baccalaureate from Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa.

Congressman Frank Lucas is a fifth generation Oklahoman whose family has lived and farmed in Oklahoma for more than a century. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in a special election in 1994. Since then, Lucas has been a crusader for the American farmer and has fought to protect Oklahoman values. He currently serves as the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the longest serving Republican on the House Committee on Financial Services. Lucas graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1982 with a degree in Agricultural Economics.

USDA Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service Chris McLean was named to the position on January 11, 2015, and is his third time at the agency. He also serves as the Assistant Administrator for Electric Programs (AAE) at the RUS. As AAE, McLean presides over a $46 billion loan portfolio. In recent years the RUS annual lending budget has been in excess of $5 billion. The agency makes low interest loans for rural electric infrastructure, renewable energy, smart grid and energy efficiency. McLean received an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University in 1985, a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 1982, and a degree in Business Administration from Creighton University in 1980.

Rob Gramlich is the executive director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, and founder and president of Grid Strategies LLC. Gramlich oversaw transmission policy for the American Wind Energy Association from 2005 through 2016 as Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs, Interim CEO, and Policy Director. He was Economic Advisor to FERC Chairman Pat Wood III from 2001 to 2005, and Senior Economist at PJM Interconnection in 1999 and 2000. He testifies frequently before the US Congress, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and state regulatory commissions. Gramlich has a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from UC Berkeley and a BA with Honors in Economics from Colby College.

Denise Bode leads the federal policy practice at Michael Best Strategies with over 30 years of experience in trade association and coalition management, as well as development of public policy strategies at both the state and federal level. Bode has been deeply involved in every energy policy debate over the past three decades. She has a long history of leadership in all sectors of the energy industry.

The webinar will be at 11 a.m. ET on April 7. Registration is free. You can sign up by clicking on this link.

About Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.: Agri-Pulse is the most trusted source for agricultural, food and rural policy information in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, Calif., providing a balanced perspective on a wide variety of issues including the farm bill, nutrition, trade, labor, food safety, water, environment, biotechnology, organic, conservation and crop insurance. Agri-Pulse publishes a subscription-only e-newsletter, the Agri-Pulse Daily Harvest early morning news summary, Agri-Pulse Daybreak, Agri-Pulse DriveTime podcast, Agri-Pulse Newsmakers and breaking news on