Obama's Rural Economic Development, Energy Independence and Farm Policy


Rural Americans are struggling – whether it's farmers and ranchers working to make ends meet, rural communities being left behind, or families being squeezed because of today's economy.

The Obama Campaign launched The Rural Americans with a Rural RV Tour across America’s heartland. The Obama RV is making its way through small towns, highlighting ways in which rural Americans can bring change to their own communities. The RV is currently in Missouri, where 36 Obama campaign offices have just opened up.

The Associated Press reports that “Obama has opened up more offices in rural areas than any other Democratic presidential candidate in years.” This means 43 offices in Ohio, including in small towns like Middletown and Troy. They opened ten offices so far in rural Iowa. Here in Indiana, Obama has 17 offices.

The campaign in Iowa is holding a series of roundtable discussions across the state, discussing rural economic development, energy independence and farm policy. Local officials and Iowa leaders including Senator Harkin, Senator Nelson, Lt. Governor Patty Judge and Obama policy advisor Mike Dunn will hold discussions with Iowans about Senator Obama’s plan for rural America.

“Most Washington politicians think rural America is a place you fly over on your way from New York to California,” said Gary Lamb, a farmer from Chelsea, Iowa, at a recent roundtable. “Senator Obama understands the challenges facing families in rural Iowa because he is from the Heartland and has held more than 100 town hall meetings across the state. Senator Obama is the only candidate who will truly fight to strengthen our family farms and rural communities, and bring real change to Washington.”

Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin said recently, “To me [Obama] could be a really good friend of ours in the White House to those of us who farm or live in rural communities.” Harkin said Obama has been supporting Midwestern agriculture since his election to the U.S. Senate, as well as during his career in the Illinois State Senate.

Senator Obama will be visiting voters across rural America, from Virginia to Indiana to Ohio to listen to the concerns of voters and explain his policies – such as the 2008 Farm Bill – support rural Americans. Obama recently unveiled a new rural plan, read more about it here.

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