Harvesting corn during the record 2009 season in Jones County, Iowa.
Photo credit: Bill Whitaker (CC-By-SA 3.0)

(West Des Moines, IA) The Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC), guided by statewide grassroots input from 99 Iowa counties, has made their ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designations for the 2014 elections.  Support of candidates seeking statewide and national offices this fall have been selected based on their support of Farm Bureau policy, voting record and support for Iowa’s rural communities.

“Actions matter,” said Decatur County farmer and IFBF PAC Chair, Lance Bell. “Our PAC takes great care evaluating the candidates’ track records and survey responses to determine who will support issues that directly impact our family farms, businesses and rural communities. We are proud that our process emphasizes Farm Bureau policies, not partisan politics.  The fact that 99 counties participated in this process shows our members stand together and believe in supporting the men and women who understand the significance of agriculture in this state.”

Governor Terry Branstad earned the 2014 ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designation for supporting agriculture and rural Iowa.  Governor Branstad is running for his sixth term as Governor of Iowa.  Bill Northey, running for his third term as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, also earned the designation from the IFBF PAC.  In the first open-seat U.S. Senate race in Iowa in 40 years, the ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designation goes to State Senator Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak).  In Iowa’s congressional district Republican candidates Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District race, David Young in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race, and Congressman Steve King in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District race also earned the designation from the IFB PAC

“We are proud to endorse these candidates because of their solid stances and votes in support of key priorities for agriculture,” said Bell. “All of these candidates have shown strong support for expanded trade, risk management programs, favorable tax policies, and renewable fuels measures that are critical to Iowa – like the RFS, advanced biofuels tax credits, and biofuels infrastructure credits.”

The grassroots effort to designate Friends of Agriculture is guided by members and begins in July when county committees start evaluating candidates. The nine-member, bipartisan PAC committee reviews evaluations and questionnaires, while also considering candidates’ positions on issues of importance to members, leadership on Farm Bureau priorities and past voting records.

“I am proud to receive the endorsement from the Iowa Farm Bureau in this election,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “I am passionate about agriculture and for protecting Iowa’s farmers in all 99 counties. Growing up on a farm in Winnebago County and visiting farmers in every county, every year have given me the opportunity to listen and fight for Iowa farmers in our state, in Washington, D.C. and around the world. Lt. Gov. Reynolds and I are committed to keeping Iowa agriculture competitive in this global economy, and our Connect Every Acre policy that we have proposed to give broadband access to not only every Iowan but to every acre of farmland will be a key part of our agenda for Building Iowa’s Future.”

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement from a group that truly represents Iowa values,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Gov. Branstad and I will continue to put forward policies that grow the economy and grow the strength of our agricultural sector which has an impressive influence on the world stage. The farmers across Iowa should know that we will be champions for them and will continue to be a steadfast voice for agriculture in Iowa.”

“I’m excited to receive this acknowledgement, because I will be a congressman who stands up and fights for agriculture and the thousands of jobs it creates in every corner of Iowa’s Third Congressional District,” said David Young. “We continue to visit every county in this district, and we are encouraged by the growing support our campaign is receiving every single day.”

“I am honored to receive the support of the Iowa Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau has long been a leading bipartisan advocate for the agricultural industry that is critical to our economy here in the 1st District. I’m proud to stand alongside Iowa’s farmers and look forward to being a common sense voice on their behalf in Congress,” said Rod Blum.

“As the rural candidate in this race, the members of Iowa’s agriculture community are my friends, neighbors, constituents, and family.”  Joni Ernst said in response to the endorsement, “Supporting renewable fuels and guarding against overreaching, burdensome federal regulations are important issues for Farm Bureau members, and I will continue to be a strong voice for Iowa agriculture in the U.S. Senate.”

The Iowa Farm Bureau founded in 1918, it now represents more than 153,000 individual families who are members at the local level.

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