Working for Agriculture
When most Americans think of Iowa, they think of rolling fields of corn. Our farmland is indeed picturesque, but it’s more than big skies and wide-open spaces. Our farms and our rural communities are the backbone of our state economy – and crucial contributors to our national economy. Iowans produce food, biofuels and grains that are used all over the world. I’m proud to represent Iowa farmers and agriculture and will continue to work in Congress on its behalf.
As you know, the Farm Bill has a huge impact in Iowa, and the Farm Bill is vital to ensuring Iowa producers have a stable, predictable market in which to sell their products. In the United States some 16 million jobs depend on the success of American agriculture.
It’s inexcusable that Congress has failed to pass a long-term extension of the Farm Bill, and I’m working hard every day to make that happen. In an effort to preserve Iowa’s economy and provide farmers with stability, I launched an effort to force a vote on the Farm Bill, known as a “discharge petition”, in September of 2012. Following this effort, in January of 2013, the House passed a nine-month extension of the Farm Bill. Doing so saved families millions at the grocery store and allowed producers to maintain their operations and make critical investments toward our food supply. But a nine month extension isn’t good enough.
A piecemeal approach to passing a Farm Bill would be devastating to Iowa farmers. Congress faces difficult choices about how much support to provide to agriculture, and how to allocate support among competing interests. That means balancing the interests of Iowa agricultural producers, protecting our natural resources, promoting rural growth and jobs, protecting anti-hunger programs and improving nutrition, investing in agriculture research, and investing in our nation’s energy future, which is why it's so important that Iowans come together with as united of voice as possible.
But one thing’s for certain – we need a full Farm Bill passed into law, and I’m working every day to make that happen.
Stopping Regulations that Hurt Family Agriculture
I worked with other farm state representatives to stop a proposed Department of Labor regulation that would throw up a tremendous roadblock to the age-old practice of farmers and ranchers hiring youth to help on the farm. The rule defied common sense, and ignores the reality of farming in Iowa and the United States. Our pressure convinced the Department of Labor to pull the proposed rule.
Congressional Soils Caucus
I am proud to be vice-chair of the Congressional Soils Caucus. We work to raise awareness of the importance of soil and soil science and how this affects farming in Iowa. The Congressional Soils Caucus exists to seek and provide information related to soil and soil science, and how they relate to production of food, feed, fiber, and fuel. Learning ways to keep Iowa’s soil healthy is in everyone’s interest.
Congressional Dairy Caucus
The Congressional Dairy Caucus works to educate members and their staff on issues of concern to the industry. Additionally, we work with industry leaders, dairy economists, and most importantly, farmers and distributors to understand the impact of Dairy Policy and what are producers are experiencing in the marketplace. I am proud to be a part of this caucus becuase we work in a bipartisan way to produce common sense solutions for our farmers.