Saturday, December 8, 2012

USDA chief: Rural America becoming less relevant


AP Photo 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has some harsh words for rural America: It's "becoming less and less relevant," he says.

A month after an election that Democrats won even as rural parts of the country voted overwhelmingly Republican, the former Democratic governor of Iowa told farm belt leaders this past week that he's frustrated with their internecine squabbles and says they need to be more strategic in picking their political fights.

"It's time for us to have an adult conversation with folks in rural America," Vilsack said in a speech at a forum sponsored by the Farm Journal. "It's time for a different thought process here, in my view."
He said rural America's biggest assets - the food supply, recreational areas and energy, for example - can be overlooked by people elsewhere as the U.S. population shifts more to cities, their suburbs and exurbs.

"Why is it that we don't have a farm bill?" said Vilsack. "It isn't just the differences of policy. It's the fact that rural America with a shrinking population is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we had better recognize that and we better begin to reverse it."

For the first time in recent memory, farm-state lawmakers were not able to push a farm bill through Congress in an election year, evidence of lost clout in farm states.

More @ AP


  1. That worthless hack lawyer used to be my governor. I'm surprised he took time off from his progressive causes to comment on agriculture.

  2. Yeah, I hope he remembers that when he's starving. He probably thinks that food comes from the grocery store. Dumbass.

    1. Yeah, why do you kill animals? You can just go to the store and buy meat...........Remember that?

    2. It's "magic" Brock.... "magic"!!
      (Rolls eyes)...

    3. Oh, maybe I've got it. They probably grow meat on a vine, so that way they don't have to hurt them..........

  3. Hold on a sec with feeling insulted by what he said - he may be on to something. Between low and dwindling numbers, lack of cohesive organization (sound like the FreeFor movement yet?), many on the Ag-Dole to grow or not grow, and ReallyBigAg supplying most of the actual food and corn for ethanol energy, he's pretty close to the mark from where I can see. What about that list makes the rural population relevant?

    Have at me...