Iowa GOP Celebrate Ag Day By Reflecting On Important Industry Issues
Its National Ag Day and as a way to celebrate, Iowa Republicans and farmers met together for a virtual discussion on how they feel the ag community is fairing under the Biden Administration.
An important topic that everyone has been thinking a lot about the last few months is prices.
Ray Gasser House Ag Committee Chair says that now is a critical time for farmers.
“I see a lot of people every day. I think we have 67 dairy producers that we picked up milk from Boulder farming business, and I think everybody's running scared,” said Gasser. “We don't know when the end is coming in. That's the part that probably is or crucial right now. You know, how long are we going to have to withstand these crazy fuel prices?”
Clayton County Republican Chairman Joe Zuercher added on to Gasser.
“Our food is going up in price for our consumers, but we're going off fertilizers double to triple what it was year ago. Fuel is double what it was a year ago,” said Zuercher… “There's a lot of uncertainty out there today on our farm and others whether we will be able to get everything that we need in order to grow crops and feed everybody to you. Know, and also feed our animals.”
Fuel, that’s a big driver to the stress farmers and even consumers are feeling.
This is a topic a lot of Republicans, such as U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra, have been trying to address by looking into homegrown fuel options such as biofuels.
“It's a gut punch when they're looking at Venezuela, and when they're looking at Saudi Arabia, and here-right in our heartland, we have pile fuels. I mean, it makes no sense at all,” said Feenstra. “I get so frustrated with this.”
And the price frustration doesn’t end with just that. The Republicans shared their frustration with land prices in their area.
“In Scott County, we clearly we have one of the highest land prices in the state,” said Representative Ross Paustian. “And I think we're still seeing that now. I don't think I've seen a lot of land move here lately in Scott County, but it's it's high priced if you want to get in and bid on this.”
Others chimed in saying that they have seen the land prices increasing in their districts as well.
These price increases then ultimately go back to impacting out everyday lives, adds Feenstra.
“It jacks up the grocery bill to everybody. I mean, from the producer: our inputs, to the grocery line,” said Feenstra. “To me, this is really dangerous when we started looking at diesel costs and regular fuel costs. This is inflation things gonna get out of control.”
And the solution that many republicans have already been pushing is biofuels.
Chris Perdue from Pottawattamie County says that they have the infrastructure in his area and its expanding. However, he has noticed that there needs to be more education on the matter.
“I was in Washington, DC. Four years ago, a person come up to me from Texas, thanking me for being an Iowa farmer producing food, but was telling me that it was horrible that we were using our corn, basically taking food away from Hungry people and making fuel,” said Perdue.
Perdue adds, farmers and lawmakers need to work to spread a positive message when it comes to biofuels.
They also asked that Feenstra and other lawmakers continue to push biofuels in DC with the current administration.