Related Rural Blog Posts

  • Rural Tour Day Three: Encouraging Job Growth

    Watch the President's Rural Town Hall here.

    The final day of President Obama's bus tour across America's heartland was jam packed with meetings and spontaneous stops to enjoy the local landscape. On his way to a town hall in Atkinson, Illinois to talk about strengthening the economy, the President pulled in to the Whiteside County Fair and checked out the dairy cow judging.

    President Barack Obama stops by the Whiteside County Fair in Morrison, Ill.

    President Barack Obama talks with people watching the dairy cow judging during a stop at the Whiteside County Fair in Morrison, Ill., , Aug. 17, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

    During the town hall, President Obama discussed how inspiring the conversations he's having with Americans have been:

    Now, what’s been striking as I’ve been traveling through over the last few days -- you guys, you’re all fulfilling your responsibilities.  You’re working hard, you’re looking after your families, you’re volunteering at church, you’re coaching Little League -- you’re doing everything right.  And all you’re asking for, if I’m not mistaken, is that your political representatives take their responsibilities just as seriously. 

    And part of that means that you have to put politics aside sometimes to do what’s right for the country.  People have been asking me, well, why didn’t you call Congress back after this whole debt ceiling thing?  Why’d you let them leave town?  I say, well, I don’t think it would be good for business confidence and certainty just to see members of Congress arguing all over again.  I figured it was time for them to spend a little time back in their districts, hear your frustrations, hear your expectations. 

    As I’ve been driving on this bus, just seeing all those flags on the way in, seeing folks waving, little kids ready to go back to school, and grandparents in their lawn chairs, and folks out in front of the machine shop and out in front of the fire stations -- you go through small towns all throughout America, and it reminds you how strong we are and how resilient we are and how decent we are.  And that should be reflected in our politics; that should be reflected in our government. 

  • Last Stop on the Rural Tour: Alpha, Illinois

    Alpha, Illinois

    After a surprise stop at the Whiteside County Fair, President Obama is heading to the Country Corner Farm in Alpha, Illinois for his fourth town hall in three days. The President has been traveling through the Midwest discussing ideas on how the government can help promote economic growth, accelerate hiring and spur innovation in rural communities like Cannon Falls, MN, Decorah, IA and Atkinson, IL

    Tune in to the town hall live stream starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT on WhiteHouse.gov/live.

    Alpha, Illinois

  • White House Rural Council on the Road

    President Obama is not the only one traveling to hear from people from all around the country. There are more than 100 events being held throughout the summer so senior Administration officials can talk with Americans about their ideas for creating jobs and rebuilding our economy. Here are just some of the recent and upcoming events related to the White House Rural Council:

    Secretary Shinseki Listen to Questions from the Audience

    A veteran asks Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., a question during a roundtable in Billings, Mont., July 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Alaska

    • Department of Health and Human Services: On August 29, Secretary Sebelius will travel to Alaska, where she will visit several remote towns and villages to highlight the rural health and human services needs of tribal populations. The Secretary’s Alaska visit includes stops in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Anaktuvuk Pass, Barrow, and Tanana.
    • Department of Interior: From August 6-13, Secretary Salazar traveled to Alaska for a series of meetings, roundtables with business and Native leaders, and tours of key sites pertaining to energy, conservation, and Native Alaskan issues. In Anchorage, Secretary Salazar met with business leaders in Anchorage to discuss the need for safe and responsible development of Alaska’s energy resources. In Fairbanks, Secretary Salazar toured the Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service firefighting facilities with Sens. Murkowski and Reed.  In Alaska’s North Slope region, Secretary Salazar visited an Indian Health Services funded hospital currently under construction in Barrow – the northernmost community in the United States – as well as the Denali National Park, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

  • Rural Tour Day Three: Atkinson, Illinois

    Atkinson, Illinois

    President Obama will meet with locals in Atkinson, Illinois later today for a town hall where he will take questions from the crowd and outline ways we can strengthen the middle class and increase economic opportunity for everyone. He’s been on the road for three days now, travelling to rural communities and talking directly with the American people about a wide variety of issues that impact our economy. In his closing remarks at the White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa yesterday, the President told the crowd that this trip has reminded him why he wanted to go into public service in the first place:

    But getting out of Washington and meeting all of you, and seeing how hard you're working, how creative you are, how resourceful you are, how determined you are, that just makes me that much more determined to serve you as best I can as President of the United States.

    Earlier this week, President Obama spoke with local citizens during town hall meetings in Cannon Falls, Minnesota and Decorah, Iowa before heading to Peosta, where he announced a series of new job initiatives.

  • President Obama: "Why I wanted to get into public service in the first place"

    Today in Peosta, Iowa, President Obama took a moment to reflect on what his trip through rural America has meant:

    Watch the President's remarks on public service here.

    As I was driving down those little towns in my big bus we slowed down, and I'm standing in the front and I'm waving, I'm seeing little kids with American flags, and grandparents in their lawn chairs, and folks outside a machine shop, and passing churches and cemeteries and corner stores and farms -- I'm reminded about why I wanted to get into public service in the first place.  Sometimes there are days in Washington that will drive you crazy.  But getting out of Washington and meeting all of you, and seeing how hard you're working, how creative you are, how resourceful you are, how determined you are, that just makes me that much more determined to serve you as best I can as President of the United States.

    President Obama Waves To People Along The Road In Decorah, Iowa

    President Barack Obama waves to people along the road in Decorah, Iowa, Aug. 15, 2011, during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest focusing on ways to grow the economy. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Rural Tour Day Two: Economic Forum Closing Remarks

    Watch the President's closing remarks at the White House Rural Economic Forum here.

    President Obama ended today's White House Rural Economic Forum feeling energized by the ideas he heard all day from small business owners, students, entrepreneurs, ranchers, farmers and clean energy companies. He told the crowd of 125 rural leaders at the Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa  that the task of the entire nation "has to be to get behind what you’re doing; our task has to be making sure that nothing stands in your way, that we remove any obstacles to your success."

    In addition to the President's opening and closing remarks, the day included breakout-sessions moderated by senior administration officials that covered topics ranging from initiatives on broadband access and renewable energy to job creation in small, rural towns nationwide. He told the crowd that his time on the road this week has underscored his deep confidence that the American people can put the nation’s economy back on track:

    I am absolutely confident about our future.  And I’m confident because I know that while we face serious challenges -- and there’s no sugarcoating that -- there’s not a nation on Earth that would not want to trade places with us.  There’s nothing wrong with our country -- although there is some problems with our politics.  That’s what we need to fix.  That’s how we’re going to unlock the promise of America, and the incredible dynamism and creativity of our people.

    And having a chance to meet with some of the men and women in this room have only made me feel more confident.  I’m excited about the future that you’re working towards each and every day.  And it ought to remind us of a simple lesson:  It’s always a mistake to bet against America. It’s always a mistake to bet against the American worker.  It’s always a mistake to bet against the American worker, the American farmer, the American small business owner, the American people.