I am the proud daughter of farmers. Growing up on a family farm near DeWitt, Iowa, I learned from my dad and mom what it meant to work hard. I did farm chores, rode along with my dad as he sold seed corn and “walked beans” with my two sisters. My mom wore many hats by holding down the fort at home, working as the town doctor’s nurse and later as a teacher’s aide at our school.
Farming is a tough business and the men and women working hard every day to make a living are the backbone of our state. But farmers continue to face uncertain commodity prices, climate change, farm consolidation, declining soil health, high feed prices, and more threats – all while the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare issues with our food supply chain from top to bottom. We need to ensure the food system is fair and the farmers raising grain and livestock get a good rate of return. And we must make it better for the next generation of farmers who enter the industry.
Iowa’s top agricultural exports continue to be corn, soybeans and pork. Agriculture remains an $8 billion industry in Iowa on which communities just like the one I grew up in depend.1 While farming is critical to the strength of our rural communities, it’s also integral to the strength of our towns and cities of all sizes.
We need solutions that not only allow our farmers to stay afloat, but that provide the support and infrastructure needed for the entire industry to persevere, and thrive.
As a member of the Iowa State Senate’s Agriculture Committee, I’ve worked hard to help Iowa family farmers and farming communities across our great state. In Congress, I will:
- Do all that I can to ensure that our farmers, particularly small family farmers, have the support they need to not only make ends meet, but to succeed and thrive in the modern economy.
- Be a voice for small family farmers and Iowa’s farming community, so that their concerns and priorities don’t get drowned out by corporate interests.
- Ensure farmers have the access to capital they need to invest in their operations, replace aging equipment, or modernize their farms and make sure new markets for ag products are pursued.
- Support food security programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Back a renewed commitment to agricultural research and development so that the United States leads the world in agricultural innovation once more.
- Invest in programs to promote and improve soil health throughout the state, including education, financial and technical assistance, and additional research, while giving farmers the tools they need to preserve the health of their farms.
- Tackle the threats of climate change and extreme weather that already are creating unprecedented challenges for our farmers, with more investments in renewable energy and climate resiliency.
1 “Iowa Quick Facts.” Iowa Data Center