Last week, I held my annual Bringing in the Harvest Tour which took me to farms, agribusinesses, and co-ops in every corner of Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Iowa’s economy relies on a strong farm economy and the hard work folks in agriculture put into their operations.
I started the tour by visiting Green Plains Energy in Shenandoah. As farmers brought in their corn to be made into ethanol, I spoke with employees and those coming and going about year-round E15. After years of promises, we have finally delivered E15 year-round which will help our rural economies, promote cleaner air, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
I also visited ZFS, a soybean processing facility in Creston, where we talked about the impacts of trade and tariffs on their operations. I’ve always said I don’t like tariffs because they are a tax on Iowans. Many of the farmers I spoke with during the harvest tour were happy to hear the administration has come to an agreement with Mexico and Canada. Farmers also recognize China is a bad actor, but they are an important market which is why President Trump needs to sit down with President Xi.
I stopped on a farm outside Corning for a lunch roundtable with farmers and agribusiness professionals. We talked about rolling back burdensome and overreaching regulations – such as former President Obama’s Waters of the U.S. rule which would have regulated 97 percent of Iowa’s land which would have harmed our economy and private property rights. We can protect water quality and improve soil health without imposing one-size-fits-all solutions. Farmers also emphasized the importance of crop insurance as a safety net against drought or flooding.
On Friday, I was joined by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig for all of our stops. We started out at Landus Co-op in Yale where we handed out donuts to the farmers bringing in their crops. We spoke with them about the progress of the harvest, the farm bill, how they are impacted by trade and tariffs, and the recent trade-aid mitigation package from the administration.
We visited a few farms in Fontanelle and Clearfield to speak with their owners and operators. One of the farms uses wet distillers grains to feed their cattle. These grains are a byproduct of corn after ethanol extraction and are a nutritious supplement farmers add to cattle feed, ensuring all of the corn is used.
Throughout the Third District, Iowa’s farmers are working hard to get their crops out of the field, workers at ethanol plants and co-ops are spending extra time at work, and cattle, pork, poultry, and dairy farmers are continuing their dedication to raising good, safe, and affordable food.
Over the course of the tour, I saw the ingenuity, determination, grit, and passion which make Iowans the best farmers, producers, and workers in the world. I’m proud to be a voice for all my bosses in the Third District and as Congress returns from the district work period I remain committed to finishing the Farm Bill to provide certainly to those working in agriculture and who rely on our food safety net.
And as I continue to visit each of the counties in the Third District, I’ll keep listening to your stories, ideas, and critiques so I can bring some Iowa common sense to Congress.