Obama meets with locals, highlights economic struggle
President Obama focused on jobs during Tuesday’s swing through southeast Iowa, and said he saw signs of a bright future ahead.
In Mt. Pleasant, he toured MoGoOrganic, Morgan Hoenig’s start-up organic farm. He came straight from a visit to a wind turbine manufacturer in Ft. Madison, and ended the day with a town hall meeting at an Ottumwa community college.
The president also made a surprise stop at Jerry’s Restaurant, at around 2:40 p.m., surprising staffers who had not been expecting him. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who accompanied the president, had to get on the phone with one staffer’s mother to assure her that he was really there.
Obama stayed at Jerry’s long enough to meet 107-year-old Frances Asher, and tried some coffee and a slice of rhubarb pie. “It was very good,” he later said. Then it was on to Ottumwa.
Hoenig, said the president spent about 20 minutes on the farm, where he and Vilsack discussed a few federal funding opportunities available to her. But, she said, it seemed that he was also there to learn.
“There’s apparently a lot of young farmers getting started these days,” Hoenig said. “It’s becoming quite a trend, and there’s a lot of people getting involved. They wanted kind of to see what’s going on.”
For more, see our April 28 print edition.