Rural Lawmakers Are An Endangered Species

MINNEAPOLIS (February 22, 2014) Rural lawmakers are an endangered species in state legislatures as more Americans move to cities and suburbs.

Lawmakers and political experts say the dwindling numbers of farmers, ranchers and others who make their living off the land affects not just agricultural policy, but also other rural concerns including highways, health care, schools and high-speed Internet access.

Indiana State Rep. Bill Friend, a pork producer, said it's challenging to explain modern farming to colleagues with no personal connections with agriculture.

One Colorado representative, rancher Jerry Sonnenberg, floated a radical idea because of his frustrations at not being heard.

He's pushing a proposal for each of his state's 64 counties to have a single House seat instead of awarding representation according to population.

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