FAIRFAX, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Tuesday that when it comes to the challenges facing the United States, "rural America is not the problem, it is the answer."
"This is the lesson of our history," the senator from Illinois said, "and it's the lesson that needs to be learned by Washington, because the American story is built upon the sweat and toil and ingenuity of generations of American farmers."
"America's rural communities feed this nation, and they fuel our growth."
Obama outlined his rural agenda at a news conference on a quiet farm in Fairfax, Iowa, a far cry from the usual rallies that draw hundreds–sometimes thousands–of potential supporters.
The plan is one Obama says was developed after listening to Iowans on previous visits. It includes creating a safety net to protect the smaller family farms from "millionaire farmers," reducing the energy intensity of the economy 50% by the year 2030, and investing in biofuels.
But Obama wasn't the only Democrat barnstorming Tuesday. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, was also pushing his rural agenda in Iowa.
When asked how his plan differs from Edwards,' Obama said he wasn't too familiar with his opponent's plan but he called the former senator from North Carolina a "capable candidate."
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch