Article Written by Kevin Bloemberg. Photo by Kevin Bloemberg.
President Joe Biden visited Northfield on November 1, in an effort to promote his investments in rural communities. The President is touring across the country for the next two weeks.
After briefly touching on the situation in the Middle East, Biden shifted to his plans to give a boost to rural America. These investments include improvements in high-speed internet and good infrastructure.
With rural voters shifting to Republicans more and more in recent years, Biden is using his tour around rural areas to regain support from farmers with increased funding. This includes nearly $2 billion for more sustainable farming, as part of the Clean Energy Bill.
Biden said the investment is long overdue, because communities have not had the support that they needed. As a result, a lot of rural areas are struggling, especially young people.
“Farmers, rangers and small businesses owners, including scores of young people, have to leave home,” Biden said, “In search of good paying jobs and the American dream.”
This has resulted in many farms closing for good.
“Over the past 40 years, we lost 400,000 farms, over 141 billion acres of farmland,” Biden explained, “That is an area roughly the size of Minnesota and North and South Dakota combined.”
With the investments, the President aims to restore dignity in America’s farmlands.
“Towns were hollowed out, jobs moved overseas,” the President said, “Over the past few decades, these communities lost more than jobs. They lost their sense of opportunity and pride, and have been left behind for far too long.”
Biden also announced a $2 billion investment to communities in the Rural Partners Network.
“This puts federal employees on the ground, to help rural communities take advantage of our resources,” the President explained, “To let them know what they are, and where they are.”
The President didn’t come to Northfield alone though. Also Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack flew over to Minnesota. He emphasized Biden’s appreciation for rural America.
“He knows that they share the same sense of pride and place,” Vilsack said, “They are proud of where they come from, and they want their families to be able to farm and work.”
The Secretary also shared his warm feelings about the planned investments by the Biden administration. He acknowledged that he knows there is work to do, but is convinced that the President ‘understands the importance of rural America’.
“What we started, is going to snowball from here on out,” Vilsack promised, “Investments are going to be made, and things are going to continue to get better.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz also came to Northfield, thanking the Biden administration for recognizing the importance of rural communities, and their efforts to improve infrastructure all across the state, in turn helping the agricultural sector.
“What that means, is strengthening road and bridges out here, the locks and dams in Duluth,” Walz said, “To allow folks out here to produce what we need in this world, and to be able to move it.”
Republicans in Minnesota criticized the President’s visit to Minnesota. Party chair David Hann said it was no coincidence that this visit happened just days after Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips launched his presidential bid, and that Biden’s visit it a sign that Republicans and Democrats know that ‘if elections were held today, Biden would lose’.