Letter to the Editor

Why one county Farm Bureau refuses to endorse Steve King

Friday, October 5, 2018

Iowa Farm Bureau granted Steve King their 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 biproducts 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 that 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.

Anna Balvance is a director on the Winnebago County Farm Bureau’s board, a farmer, and a grain buyer.