Name: Rick Stewart
Residence: Cedar Rapids
Education: Bachelor’s, Coe College; MBA, University of Chicago
What are the most important issues you think need to be addressed if you are elected?
Since 1935 the federal government has continually interfered in Iowa’s ag economy to the detriment of Iowa farmers and every single taxpayer in the state. Three programs need to be canceled entirely: subsidies, renewable fuel standards and tariffs. All three do nothing but buy votes for politicians, while making life uncertain for farmers and taxpayers. Simply put, subsidies and standards have never increased the living standard of anyone but Washington politicians. They should be ended following a predictable 10-year glide path. Free trade made this country rich; tariffs are for losers. Iowa is a polluting state and that needs to stop. Polluting our neighbors’ water is unacceptable.
Tell voters why you are running for this position. What makes you most qualified?
Iowa needs leadership not political pandering. I am the only candidate for Secretary of Agriculture whose career has never included working as a government bureaucrat. My entrepreneurial attitude can solve Iowa’s ag challenges by using economics, not politics, as a base for effective, inexpensive, and equitable action. Good economics has made this the richest country in the history of the world. Big government has consistently shown an inability to govern. Libertarians are your best defense.
What should voters know about you before going to the polls?
I was born in Postville where my father was the vocational agriculture instructor. He had a 5-acre hobby farm that he increased to 20 acres. Then he moved to Maquoketa, where I grew up, eventually building up to an 80-acre farm. I have a degree in ag mechanics from Kirkwood and while still in school I started a business that today is a $200 million business employing 300 people (Frontier Co-op). My BA is from Coe College and my MBA from the University of Chicago.
What other issues related to your platform do you think voters should be aware of before they vote?
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
In this election I am the clean water candidate. My opponents want to fix Iowa’s water quality problem “eventually.” I want to fix it in five years. They want to tax every Iowan, rich or poor, with a sales tax increase, or have Washington give us money. If you want to send Washington $1 so you can get 50 cents back, vote for my opponents. I want landowners to fix the problem on their own land, using the techniques and procedures best suited for them, at their own expense. That’s fair.