From the moment he set foot in Iowa in 2015, Donald Trump made farmers a lot of promises.
He promised us he’d invest in rural communities. He promised us fair trade deals that would bolster the agricultural industry. And most importantly, he promised us he would enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) supporting jobs for Iowans and the use of ethanol and biodiesel in our nation’s fuel supply.
Flash forward to today, and the picture for farmers across Iowa and the rest of the country is bleak.
The Environmental Protection Agency has finally released specifics on how it would enforce the RFS. Instead of giving us what was promised or following the letter of the law, this administration reduced the use of renewable fuels by granting waivers to the oil industry. President Trump’s biofuels plan destroyed the use of 4.1 billion gallons of renewable fuels made in America. Farmers, rural communities and consumers are the losers.
As an Iowa farmer and former president of the National Corn Growers Association, I know this action is devastating for farmers and the rural economy. As Senator Amy Klobuchar and other leaders on this issue have pointed out, the only thing Iowa farmers are asking is that the Trump administration follows the law.
Additionally, farmers have been asked to take another punch to the gut as the decreased demand brought on by the waivers drives down commodity prices. And let’s not forget the countless business and communities, mostly rural, whose local economies depend on agriculture and are threatened by these unnecessary waivers. One in five Iowa jobs is connected to agriculture.
The markets that are generated through the production of ethanol and biodiesel in Iowa are game changers. They brought jobs and rural economic development to communities and farms like mine. With that economic certainty, I saw families like mine be able to bring back our kids, the next generation, not only to the farm but to the many jobs that support these businesses.
These economic engines revitalized rural Iowa and meant that our schools, hospitals, and main streets have a better chance to survive and grow. These biorefineries and the jobs they provide are worth fighting for. Farmers like me are making our voices heard and we are looking for a better alternative to broken promises of this president.
At every step along the way, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that while he will say otherwise, he has no interest in looking out for America’s rural and farming communities. Luckily for Iowans, there’s a candidate for president who has always had the backs of America’s farmers. She’s the Senator next door, Amy Klobuchar.
Since her first day in the Senate, Amy has been a champion for agriculture and rural communities, working to create a safety net for farmers in the wake of natural disasters; promoting precision agriculture and broadband deployment to farms and ranches; and supporting investments in renewable fuels that provide key support for American farmers.
Amy hasn’t just talked the talk when it comes to the needs of our rural and farming communities. Her record of fighting for these issues is second to none, and she has made them a cornerstone of her presidential campaign.
For farming communities across Iowa, this election should be an easy choice. While there are a number of fine candidates in this race, only one has been working to empower farmers throughout her entire time in public office.
Pam Johnson is a 6th generation farmer who raises corn and soybeans in Floyd County. She is a former president of the National Corn Growers Association.