Iowa Corn Caucus Grades Candidates on Farm Issues

Cindy Zimmerman 2 Comments

ICGAThe Iowa Corn Caucus released its report card for presidential candidates today, giving grades for different policy areas related to agriculture with an overall grade for each candidate.

The highest overall grade went to Newt Gingrich, who scored straight As on every single policy issue. Second in the class was Rick Santorum, who had mostly A’s but faltered under farm programs in the areas of crop insurance and conservation. President Obama received a grade of B, as did Mitt Romney, but the rest of the four major Republican candidates got no more than a C minus. Rick Perry received that grade, while Michelle Bachmann was close behind with a D+ and both Herman Cain and Ron Paul got Ds. Cain in particular failed miserably in the energy policy category and farm programs – getting straight Fs in all those areas.

“Our purpose wasn’t to endorse any candidate, but instead to give farmers a tool that they could take with them to the caucuses in January,” said Iowa Corn Growers senior policy advisor Amanda Taylor. The survey for candidates was developed in conjunction with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) to include ten questions directly related to agricultural issues.

ICGA president Kevin Ross noted that only half of candidates responded to the survey, so the Corn Caucus used other methods to determine the grades. “We tracked interviews, speeches, media quotes and all things related to agriculture, including voting records of candidates who held office,” he said. The candidates who did return the survey were Obama, Cain, Gingrich and Santorum.

Find out more about the Corn Caucus project results from the ICGA website, and listen to a press conference this morning about it here: Iowa Corn Caucus Results

Audio, Corn, Farm Policy, Government

Comments 2

  1. M. Nolan

    When did American farmers become welfare queens? It isn’t enough that we turn a blind eye and let you subsidize your labor with illegal immigrants?

    Let me guess, you like Newt, because you know he’s a “big-government conservative” who’s going to beat farm subsidies out of the American middle class? Since Newt has taken every side of every issue, I can see how you can find some issues to agree with him on, but on those issues, I can find a Newt quote where he takes the opposite position.

    Today’s farmers are just like the Wall St. types who depend on bailouts for their bonus. Farmers should just quit pretending that there is anything “conservative” in their political ends, and go back to their natural bedfellows, the Democrats.

  2. Post

    Wow – that’s kind of harsh. Hope you are not commenting with your mouth full. First of all, the concept of farm programs came during the depression and the dust bowl to ensure that farmers were able to stay in business and provide food for the national security, which is still important today. Secondly, if you check the actual questions in the survey, you will find that farmers are most interested in a safety net, like crop insurance, rather than direct payments. Finally, farmers as a whole generally were Democrats up until fairly recently, much like Catholics were until the abortion issue. Yet, a good percentage still maintain that affiliation.

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