The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Obama endorses Senate farm bill, campaigns through rural radio and TV

In a sign the presidential campaign in rural America is heating up, President Barack Obama today personally endorsed the Senate farm bill and called for passage of the bill this year in a radio interview with the Brownfield ag radio network.

He also gave television interviews with eight stations in smaller cities to announce the release of two reports touting the administration’s accomplishments in rural America.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
In an 11-minute interview with Brownfield’s Tom Steever (linked below), Obama said he is “supportive of the Senate farm bill" and added, "hopefully we can get this done before the end of the end of the year.”

Obama also noted that he toured the rural Midwest last August and said he was releasing the reports because it is important for Americans to know that a president follows up on his promises.

The president also said he believes the Environmental Protection Agency has improved communications with farmers and that the agency has been able to protect the American people while not “overburdening” farmers.

“As we continue to fight our way back from the deepest economic crisis in generations and build an economy that lasts, rural America is helping to lead the charge,” Obama said in a White House news release.

“On farms and ranches; in towns and communities across this country, rural Americans know that we are stronger as a people when everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules,” Obama said. “Those are the values we need to return to, and as long as I’m president, my administration will continue to give our rural communities the support and investment they need to show us the way.”

Obama also released a report titled “Strengthening Rural Communities: Lessons from a Growing Farm Economy,” prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Rural Council and the Agriculture Department, made a new commitment to invest in rural business through the Small Business Investment Company, and released details of the locations, amounts and industries in which these dollars have been invested to date.

Obama also scheduled interviews with eight local television anchors from the White House Cabinet Room, most of them from Republican-friendly parts of swing states, the White House said.

The television markets were Green Bay, Wis.; Roanoke, Va.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Sioux City, Iowa; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Reno, Nev., as well as Fresno in solidly Democratic California, and Greenville in solidly Republican South Carolina, Bloomberg said.