President Joe Biden commenced his “barnstorming” tour of rural America with a visit to a hog farm near Northfield, Minnesota. The event aimed to garner support for his agenda in regions where the Democratic Party has faced challenges in recent elections. Despite protests related to the conflict in Gaza, Biden focused on rural issues and federal spending initiatives during his speech at Dutch Creek Farms.
Addressing the ongoing situation in the Middle East, Biden acknowledged the conflict in Gaza and emphasized the safe passage of wounded Palestinians and foreign nationals. Protesters near the farm urged Biden to demand a cease-fire in Israel’s invasion of Gaza.
The primary purpose of Biden’s trip was to highlight the $5 billion in recent federal spending allocated to support farmers in adopting sustainable practices and gaining a competitive edge in new markets. The president underscored the importance of rural America’s prosperity for the overall well-being of the nation.
Before addressing the audience, Biden engaged with farmers, agricultural industry leaders, and rural development officials, discussing a range of topics from broadband expansion to promoting “green” farming practices. Kathy Zeman, a certified organic livestock farmer, expressed hope that the funds would incentivize farmers dealing with issues like severe soil erosion.
Biden referenced the economic challenges faced by rural communities, citing closed factories and towns impacted by job outsourcing. His plan aims to invest in rural America and revive a sense of dignity, opportunity, and pride in these areas.
The president shared the story of the Kluver family, hosts of the event, who faced challenges during the early days of the pandemic when processing plants temporarily closed. Biden emphasized the need to expand marketing opportunities for livestock producers.
The visit took place amid a primary challenge from Minnesota U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, who raised concerns about Biden’s age and poll numbers. However, leading Democrats in Minnesota continue to support the president.
While Biden boarded Marine One after his speech, a protest group called “Abandon Biden” voiced dissatisfaction with his handling of the Gaza situation. Muslim leaders launched a campaign encouraging Muslim Americans to consider alternative presidential candidates in the future.
The visit to Dutch Creek Farms reflected the broader shift of rural voters aligning with the GOP, particularly as party lines have solidified along urban-rural divides. Despite challenges and protests, Biden’s tour aims to address the concerns of rural America and reinforce his commitment to revitalizing these communities.