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ICBA News Release

ICBA Independent Community Bankers of America

For further information contact:
Elizabeth Arritt, ICBA Associate Director of Marketing, or Mark Scanlan, Director ICBA Office of Agriculture and Rural Policy, at (202) 659-8111.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Vice Chair Speaks at Key Rural America Conference

Recommends Homeland Security Style Agency for Rural America

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2004) - Independent Community Bankers of America Vice Chairman Terry Jorde, a highly regarded North Dakota community banker, will be a featured presenter today at a national symposium on the future of rural America. President Bush is the keynote speaker at "Capitalizing on Rural America," the two-day symposium coordinated by the Federal Home Loan Bank in Des Moines, Iowa. The high-profile attendees at the April 15-16 event include Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Agriculture ranking member Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Legendary Harvard Law Professor Arthur Miller will engage a distinguished panel of policy makers, business leaders and bankers, community leaders and rural development experts. Topics include many issues facing rural America, such as policies and strategies to remove barriers to regionalism, the role of technology as a resource for new rural economic strategies, and innovative ways to increase the flow of capital into rural America.

Jorde plans to mention the need for a "master plan" for the future of rural America. "What we need is a strategic vision for rural America that brings together a broad rural coalition of various private sector entities, governmental and educational institutions. Perhaps this would best be accomplished by implementing a "Homeland Security" style agency with broad jurisdictional scope that can focus on the many challenges facing rural America. This could help us enhance rural America's economic security and attract more people to rural areas and also allow us to focus on job creation, tax issues, and bringing more capital into rural areas that can be reinvested in rural businesses."

In addition to President Bush and the Iowa senators, several other members of Congress and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack will attend the conference. "All of us who live in rural America believe in its value," Jorde said. "Even if you live in a big city today, your ancestors at one time likely lived in rural America if you go back far enough."

Jorde, a past member of the Federal Reserve Board Consumer Advisory Council and the Board of the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions, is President & CEO of CountryBank USA, in Cando, N.D.






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