Agriculture and Rural Development


Rural South Dakota town.

Challenges Facing Rural Communities

Rural America is undergoing changes, and state legislatures are responding. Legislatures in nine states have initiated rural commissions and committees, dedicated to improving rural areas of their state. 


Food safety image with broccoli.

Food Safety Legislation 2019

State legislatures introduced more than 700 bills regarding food and food safety in 2019, with 132 being enacted and 17 adopted into law.

Summit 2021


Agriculture and Rural Development


Hemp cloth

State Industrial Hemp Statutes

State legislatures have taken action to promote industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity in recent years. At least 41 states passed legislation related to industrial hemp.


Female doctor in a rural setting

NCSL Rural Health Resources

Rural Americans continue to grapple with significant challenges accessing health care services. This web page is a compilation of NCSL resources on several key policy areas related to rural health. These include general rural health topics, health care workforce and scope of practice, telehealth, rural health facilities and specific health care services in rural communities.


Chairs at a table

Natural Resources and Infrastructure

The Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee is one of eight NCSL Standing Committees that educates Congress and federal agencies about state concerns and serves as a forum for state legislators and legislative staff to learn about and share information regarding programs and initiatives in other states.



The Agriculture Task Force  examines state and federal agricultural policy issues and serves as the conduit for state legislative communication with Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other federal agencies.