By Anna Balvance, Buffalo Center
The Iowa Farm Bureau granted Steve King its endorsement. Here’s why my county, the Winnebago Farm Bureau, did not.
Ethanol is under attack. The EPA gave out “hardship waivers” to “small” refineries. This undermined the RFS without doing so legislatively. Ethanol margins have reached disastrous levels with two plants in King’s district dialing back or temporarily shutting down.
King has a curious track record when it comes to ethanol for a guy who has so many ethanol plants in his district. When the EPA was attacking ethanol, their champion was Ted Cruz. King hosted Ted Cruz in Iowa for a pheasant hunt, and endorsed him in the 2016 Iowa Caucus. There’s a wolf at the Iowa Farmer’s door, and King invited it in.
Trade Wars initiated by President Trump have hit District 4. Farm incomes have declined four years in a row, and as I write soybean prices are $0.94 lower than they were this time last year. Local basis has been destroyed from lack of demand from traditional customers, like China. Ethanol and ethanol byproducts export numbers have dropped, worsening margins. President Trump campaigned on a trade war and King has supported him.
Iowa senators have made headlines working to fix RFS waivers, mandate E15 year round, and fighting for the Iowa Farmer. Steve King is often in the news, for the wrong reasons, recently retweeting a white supremacist for the second time.
Does this polarizing behavior benefit the IA04 farmer?
Has King campaigned for, endorsed and supported candidates who are supporting farmers, free trade and the ethanol industry? No. And that’s why Winnebago County Farm Bureau did not endorse him as a friend of agriculture.
J.D. Scholten will be a true “Friend of Agriculture” by advocating for free trade, protecting ethanol and serving the office with the dignity it deserves.