Letters to the Pilot

Thursday, August 22, 2002

'The big one' and Bush


I couldn't have been more proud of our great state than I was this past week, as Iowa showcased itself to the world at our annual State Fair. From butter sculptures and beard-growing contests to John Deere tractors and juicy Iowa pork chops, there was something for everyone at this year's fair, which was appropriately named, "The Big One."

The Wall Street Journal put it best recently when they described the Iowa State Fair simply as "a classic." What makes our fair so unique, attracting U.S. Presidents (and presidential candidates) and grabbing the attention of newspapers and television stations across the country? Because, as much as people may want to classify Iowa simply as a "farm state," perhaps there is no state in the country that captures the essence of what it means to be American as does Iowa.

This was strikingly evident to me as I took the stage to introduce President Bush to the thousands of Iowans who came to hear him speak at this year's Fair... In the distance, smoke could be seen rising from the Iowa Pork Producers Tent (where I had previously spent some time serving up pork chops). Some in the packed crowd lay on blankets, others dangled their feet from bails of hay, and some climbed up on tractors just to get a glimpse of our country's 43rd President.

And President Bush utilized Iowa's economic and geographic diversity to address some of the most vital issues currently facing our country.

For example, it's no surprise President Bush chose Iowa to tout the Trade Promotion Authority bill we recently passed in Congress - given the fact Iowa is the number-one exporting state per capita in the country. As President Bush pointed out, "One thing we're best in the world at is growing things. We ought to be opening up markets for the Iowa farmer all over the world."

And the President also pointed out the importance of trade for Iowa's considerable manufacturing sector - for which exports support more than 100,000 jobs.

"The more tractors John Deere sells overseas, the better it is for Iowa workers," said President Bush...

It's also fitting the President chose our state to call for a new ethic of responsibility in corporate America, citing Iowa's "good old-fashioned farm values" as an ideal example for American business leaders to follow.

I am proud that President Bush addressed the nation from our State Fair this year...

Rep. Greg Ganske,

Washington, D.C.