Presidential Candidates Address Issues Impacting Farmers at Forum in Grinnell

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GRINNELL, Iowa -- Six presidential candidates discussed issues such as climate change, health care, soil quality, farm-to-table and more at a forum hosted by the Iowa Farmers Union.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Steyer, Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders all took part in the event.

Waterloo resident Barbara Henning said, “The land is so important and we have to have legislation and leadership that believes in quality of soil, of water, of the air, and it takes all of that into account because it’s our future.”

Grinnell resident and farmer Barney Bahrenfuse said soil health has been going down for years and wants the candidates looking toward cover crops.

“Cover crops are a good beginning, although I am very concerned with the fact that the cover crops get sprayed with glyphosate. I am not sure we are gaining very much,” Bahrenfuse said.

Members of the union are also interested in how candidates plan to improve the survival of family farms in rural communities.

Bahrenfuse said, “Farm families have someone working in town only for health care reasons. It would open up a lot of jobs if we had a universal health care system.”

The candidates also dived into increasing the farm-to-table movement and ways to produce healthier options for Iowans.

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