Agriculture Talk with Democrat Candidate for Governor

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Agribusiness reporter David Geiger sits down with Fred Hubbell, the Democrat Candidate for Governor, to talk about

Q: What are your top issues when it comes to agriculture?
A: “Well, agriculture is a huge part of our state, and it’s a huge part of the culture of our state, too. So, clearly I
want to support agriculture as much as I can. Production agriculture is very important, it generates a lot of
revenue for families, and individuals and communities in our state. It’s our biggest export product. And I want to
be the governor that helps expand markets for our production agriculture. But also stands up to talk about how
harmful the tariffs are and the trade war that we have going on or changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard,
could be also very harmful. So, production agriculture is very important, but it’s also important that we make it
easier for young people and new people to get into farming. The average age of our farmer today is getting
pretty high. So, we need to encourage opportunities for young people to start smaller organic farms or smaller
confinement operations to get them started in farming and agriculture. We need to start more regional and local
markets to make it easier for organic farmers to go move their products into local communities, farmers markets
and those things. But we also need to support the wind and solar and biomass opportunities all across rural
Iowa because those are huge opportunities for jobs as well as incomes in rural Iowa.”

Q: You have mentioned water quality in debates, as governor you would like to do about that?
A: “Water quality is a big issue for everybody. Everybody wants clean water and everybody wants farmers to be
successful. So, the question is how do we do that? And I think you do that by bringing people together. We
don’t need to fight about whose fault it is. I think all Iowans have to benefit and we’re all part of the problem. So,
let’s work together, urban-rural, Democrats-Republicans, and what I think we should do is fund the Natural
Outdoor Resources Trust fund. Because that would set aside a permanent piece of money, every year, that
can be used for protecting our, basically what you do is endorse the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, allows you to
do systems under that protect and preserve our topsoil, while also protecting our water. Like cover crops
and grassy waterways, buffer strips and these kind of things. That’s going to help the farmers keep their soil
where it is but it’s also going to protect our water. And I want to do it on a voluntary basis. A cost share basis.
But we also need some measurements and transparency so we know it’s working and what’s not working.”

Q: Last off, I do want to get to trade, you did talk a little bit about tariffs, but a unique position the governor of
Iowa has is they can talk about Iowa products to other countries and other states. Is that something that’s
important to you? How would you promote or maintain Iowa agriculture products?
A: “Well, I think that’s very important and a trade war today makes it more evident because why don’t we work
harder to make our Iowa agricultural products more subject to the control of what’s going on in our state rather
than who’s in DC and what their policies are. So, I want to be the governor, and I know my lieutenant governor
Rita Hart wants to do the same thing. To go out and take trade missions with our agricultural partners in the
state to Canada, to Mexico, to Latin America and develop more bilateral relationships. I’ve actually run
businesses in those countries, I’ve been in all those countries working. And there’s no mystery there, they all
want our products, we have great agricultural products. Mexico and Canada are two of our biggest agricultural
markets. And let’s develop more direct relationships with the entities there that need our products. So we’re not
as subjected to or at the risk of these trade wars.”

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