Ag and rural issues got several mentions during the roll call of the states where Joe Biden was officially nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night.
Before announcing that Democrats in Kansas were casting 35 votes for Biden and 10 votes for Sen. Bernie Sanders, fourth-generation farmer Mark Pringle said that Biden’s agriculture and rural development proposals would help stem the exodus of young people from the countryside.
Biden “has a plan to help new farmers get a good start, and by funding schools and health care he’ll make sure that rural communities remain great places to live, work and raise a family for generations to come,” Pringle said.
Rural broadband was an issue that came up, too, during the roll call.
Speaking in front of a group of cattle in Montana, Rachel Prevost, (shown above) talked about the importance of rural broadband and having to finish her senior year studying remotely from her family’s ranch.
“Some days I can’t even get a video to load or an email attachment to send. Without reliable internet, there's no remote learning, no virtual doctor's appointments and just try starting a small business. Rural broadband can be a game changer for rural communities like mine, and Joe Biden has a plan to make it happen," she said.
African-American state legislator Craig Hickman, who cast Maine’s votes, said he and his husband had realized “my American dream” - a 25-acre organic farm, a roadside farm stand, and a bed-and-breakfast.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the rural economies across America,” he said. “Joe Biden has a plan to help more Americans, especially people of color, to start their own businesses.”
Iowa’s vote was announced by former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, standing near a corn field with his wife, Christie. Vilsack said he had planned to talk about biofuel policy, but instead he called attention to last week’s derecho, which destroyed crops and many buildings across the state.
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A meatpacking plant worker from Nebraska, Geraldine Waller, announced her state’s vote after talking about how her fellow employees are “treated like we’re expendable.”
She went on, “Workers are dying from COVID. A lot of us don’t have paid sick leave or even all the protective equipment. We are human beings, not robots. … We want to keep helping you feed your family. We need a president who will have our backs.”
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