The Ruralists is a band from Sioux Center, Iowa who believes art and beauty can be found hidden in the back of any old garage in small town America. On this episode of Flyover Folk, Luke Hawley and Laremy De Vries of the Ruralists discuss creativity and music in the center of America's farm country.
Many communities in rural America are in decline. According to the Center for Rural Affairs, Nearly 7 in 10 rural Americans fear their small town life may be dying, yet 90% say this way of life is worth fighting for. However, instead of expanding federal programs to rebuild rural America, the Trump Administration is demoting and cutting the only program at the United States Department of Agriculture solely focused on supporting small towns and rural communities.
Iowa Congressman Steve King in many ways has become the face of rural American politics. He often attracts the national spotlight through his racist anti-immigrant rhetoric and rants against a multicultural America. King made national news again recently, this time for saying that “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” But ironically for King, Latino immigrants are the single biggest hope for rebuilding rural America — specifically his rural America. Populations in 31 of the 39 counties King represents have declined between 2010 and 2015.