Several Democratic candidates gathered in Jefferson for a panel discussion on agricultural topics.
Presidential candidate John Delaney was joined by US 4th Congressional District candidate JD Scholten, Iowa Agriculture Secretary candidate Tim Gannon and Iowa House District 47 candidate David Weaver. Local farmers were also on the panel and they included Landus Cooperative Communications Director Alicia Heun, along with Patti Naylor, Tom Wind and Chris Henning. Chuck Offenburger was the moderator.
One major issue that was discussed was about the tariffs and the trade war with China. Gannon shared his thoughts about how to handle the situation, so that the agriculture economy isn’t solely dependent on the straight corn and soybean crop exports.
“We’ve got to diversify what we do with what we grow so that we’re not as subject to price disruptions from trade that we’ve seen this year. We need to figure out new uses for corn, and beans and other things that we can grow and raise, creating markets so there’s profitability in agriculture.”
Congressman Delaney addressed the issue of rural housing. He believes the housing industry has under-invested in affordable housing and over-invested in traditional housing.
“We’d all be better off actually providing more subsidies to affordable housing and less subsides to general housing. Because there is a massive shortage of affordable housing in this country. And the subsides in the rest of the housing market haven’t necessarily produced the results that we thought they were going to produce in terms of greater home ownership. What they’ve really done is encourage people to invest more of their resources in their home.”
Other topics included water quality issues, family farms versus farm tenants, succession farm planning, and having affordable health care for farmers. Delaney also visited Guthrie and Adair counties Thursday. Topics that were discussed there included trade wars, education and agriculture.