Tim Gannon: “We Must Invest In The Next Generation Of Iowa Farmers”

gannonforiowa.com

Please support Tim Gannon for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.  If you cannot donate but want to help, visit Tim’s campaign website, TimGannonforAgriculture.

Here’s a word from Tim –

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I wanted to make sure you saw an article from the Cedar Rapids Gazette talking about a trend affecting Iowa farmers and our rural communities.  Check it out  here – [How We Got Here: Iowa farms grow in size, but there are fewer of them]

As the article notes, Iowa’s farmers are more productive than ever because of improvements in technology. This means fewer Iowans are employed full time as farmers and the costs associated with farming can make it difficult for young farmers to get started. Not only do we need to work to make it easier for the next generation of farmers to get started, but we need to work to create a rural economy that adds more value to the products we grow which will improve the outlook for all farmers. Creating new industries based on our productive farmers will help us sustain small town institutions like schools, hospitals, and churches.

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In order to stem the tide of consolidation in rural Iowa, we need to make it easier — not harder — for young Iowans to start a farm. I want to help young farmers looking to participate in Iowa’s agriculture economy, but I can’t without your support. Can I count on you to help me get more Iowans into good paying jobs by contributing to my campaign for Secretary of Agriculture?

Developing our infrastructure and investing in the next generation of Iowa farmers are ways we can reverse this trend threatening small town Iowa. With your help, I’ll fight for our small towns that make Iowa such a special place to live, farm, and raise a family.

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Thanks,
Tim

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5 Responses to Tim Gannon: “We Must Invest In The Next Generation Of Iowa Farmers”

  1. Anne Duncan says:

    I intend to vote for Tim Gannon. He is a lot better than Mike Naig.

    But the real problem won’t be solved no matter which candidate is elected, that problem being that Iowa is firmly in the iron grip of the Iowa Farm Bureau and its industrial-ag allies. And the biggest symptom of that problem is that even the Democratic candidate for Ag Secretary cannot ever speak a truth that is blatantly obvious — that in Iowa, the biggest contributor by far to the Gulf Dead Zone, farm conservation should not continue to be completely optional. This state is more controlled by Big Ag than North Carolina ever was by Big Tobacco. And our optional-farm-conservation policy, especially since taxpayers heavily subsidize crop insurance, is insane.

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    • Paul Deaton says:

      I don’t share your cynicism about Iowa and conservation. I had a chance to meet Tim Gannon and discuss conservation. He is well aware of the issue of the Gulf hypoxia and has a plan to address it. What he mentioned in this post is equally important. Farming cannot be reduced to a reaction to the Iowa Farm Bureau if we want change in nutrient runoff, crop diversity and a lot more.

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      • Anne Duncan says:

        Paul, I am not at all happy that Iowa is so controlled by industrial agriculture interest groups. Are you saying, however, that it is not? And/or are you saying that farm conservation in Iowa should continue to be optional? Or that it would be politically safe for any DALS Secretary candidate to talk about any kind of required farm conservation? Or even to talk about any prohibition of even the most egregiously-awful practices, like applying fall nitrogen when soil temps are above 50 F?

        The main issue I was talking about was not Gulf hypoxia, but Iowa’s collective unwillingness, so far, to address farm pollution, an unwillingness for which the Iowa Farm Bureau and allies are partly, though certainly not entirely, responsible. I’d be interested in whether Gannon’s farm pollution plan includes conservation requirements, deadlines, standards, statewide planning, statewide water testing with results available to the public, and LOTS of funding, The absence of all those are among the biggest problems in the toothless Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, according to the water experts who are able and willing to speak out.

        I have been working as a volunteer on water issues in this state for thirty-eight years, by the way. And I do intend to vote for Tim Gannon.

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      • Paul Deaton says:

        Anne, You should write a post for Blog for Iowa on this topic. If interested, email me. Too, I don’t know where you live, but if you contact Gannon’s campaign, I’ll bet he’s going to be near you before the election.

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  2. Anne Duncan says:

    Also, I am excited, not cynical, about genuine effective efforts to reduce farm pollution. I’m just sorry that Iowa is doing a significantly worse job with those efforts than some other states. Indiana is doing better with cover crops. Minnesota is doing better with buffer strips. North Carolina is doing better with hoglots. And states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are requiring farm conservation, and partly as a result, the Bay is in better condition than it’s been in for the past thirty-three years. That, to put it mildly, is not true of the Gulf.

    And I do think that one of the problems in Iowa is that many if not most officials/candidates don’t feel it is even safe to point out that Iowa is doing a poor job on farm pollution, and that it is not just a matter of needing more funding, though we certainly do. But there will probably never be enough funding. We need to use limited funding more effectively, and that means caring more about what will actually work to improve water quality than what will keep powerful ag groups happy.

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