This week, President Obama returned to Iowa, where he launched his successful bid to the White House, to speak about “jobs and economic security” in rural America. According to the White House, his bus tour is not a campaign trip, but veteran political observers would disagree. For farmers and rural advocates, this tour is really about something much larger than electioneering or a new jobs program: It’s about the survival of rural America.
While the plight of urban decay has been widely publicized in the mainstream press, similar issues facing our country cousins (myself included) — lack of well-paying jobs, rural brain drain, food deserts, poverty, and lack of access to quality health care — have either been ignored or largely misunderstood by policy-makers and the press. Today, more rural Americans are on food stamps and face bleaker economic prospects than their urban counterparts, despite the romantic image of small-town life often portrayed in the media.
For the past 50 years, rural America has seen its b... Read more