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Gillibrand: Cortland to host Made in Rural America forum in September

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Obama Administration will bring its “Made in Rural America” export forum to Cortland in September.

The event is set for Sept. 5 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room at the State University of New York College at Cortland, according to the website of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which will participate in the forum.

The “Made in Rural America” initiative aims to assist small and mid-size rural businesses in overcoming obstacles to reach untapped overseas markets to “strengthen” rural exports, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.)  


The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Commerce, and the ARC will co-host the event.

The Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, CenterState CEO, and other federal, state and local partners will lend support.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is a regional economic-development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government, according to its website. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC includes the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who the President appoints, the website says.

Gillibrand, who is a member of the President’s export council, will join Bruce Andrews, U.S. deputy secretary of commerce, and Earl F. Gohl, federal co-chair for the ARC, at the forum, the senator’s office said.

The “Made In Rural America” forums are part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to “boost exports and grow rural economies,” according to Gillibrand’s office.

The regional forum will link up rural communities, economic-development officials, and businesses from across upstate New York with experienced exporters and international-business professionals for training.

The training will focus on the basics of exporting, accessing federal and state export assistance, and ways to participate in major trade events, national trade shows, and overseas trade missions, according to Gillibrand’s office.

In a letter sent in May, Gillibrand urged the administration to bring its forum to the Upstate region.

New York is one of the nation’s top exporters, ranking third in total goods among all states, her office said. The state in 2013 produced an estimated figure of more than $80 billion in overseas business.

Manufacturing remains the top exporting sector for New York, with nearly one quarter of all manufacturing workers, including many in rural communities in New York, depending on exports for their jobs. 

New York is also the third highest exporter of dairy products in the nation and among the top 10 states in exporting fruit and vegetable products, according to Gillibrand’s office.

 Contact Reinhardt at


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