As a fifth-generation farmer from Mingo, I understand the vital role Iowa’s small towns and farming communities play in our identity, heritage, and prosperity. For me, it’s personal. I see how rural Iowa is struggling with population loss and declining farm income. I grew up during the farm crisis of the 1980s so I know all too well that when farmers struggle, so does everyone from equipment manufacturers to main street businesses. I’m running for secretary of agriculture because I don’t want our state to become a handful of thriving population centers, while our rural communities suffer.
The next secretary must be a strong advocate for Iowa farmers, and a leader in revitalizing our rural economy. I have the right experience and vision for the job. My family has farmed in Jasper County since the 1880s. Growing corn and soybeans on our Century Farm gives me firsthand knowledge of the struggles our farmers face, and working for Secretary Tom Vilsack at USDA for eight years gives me the policy chops required for the job. I oversaw the improvement of rural job creation programs during the Great Recession and traveled with Secretary Vilsack to strengthen relationships with trading partners. I helped lead the Risk Management Agency and oversaw the federal crop insurance program. In each job, I improved services for our farmers and strengthened the workplace and morale of the people with whom I worked.
I will work every day to put more money in our farmers’ pockets by helping end this reckless trade war caused by Republicans and push back against their actions that have destroyed ethanol demand by giving waivers to profitable oil companies. I will fight for investments in public research to keep us a world leader in agriculture as well as address the soil health and water quality challenges we face, which demand that we fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust.
I treasure the tradition of providing for your family in small town Iowa. I want kids such as my daughter, Lucy, to be able to follow in my footsteps. The next secretary of agriculture faces tremendous challenges, and I believe my experiences in the field and at USDA make me the best candidate for the job. I would be proud to serve you and ask for your vote this election. Remember, Iowa needs a farmer.
• Tim Gannon is a Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
All candidate guest columns in the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture race:
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!
You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.