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GUEST COLUMN

A farmer’s work ethic in Washington

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Agricultural production is the backbone of Iowa’s economy. The 4th District is in the top three when it comes to livestock, crops, ethanol, and overall ag production, so I know how important our ag producers are to our state. I also see how little Washington, D.C., appreciates what it takes for producers to put food on America’s tables. Fortunately, Iowa has another fierce advocate for farm families in the nation’s capital. He’s a lifelong family farmer himself, Senator Chuck Grassley.

As one of only two active farmers in the U.S. Senate, Chuck Grassley understands the life of the family farmer because he lives it. And he brings that farmer’s work ethic to Washington. He’s at the office each day before the sun comes up and works until the cows come home, fighting for the Heartland.

Years of experience raising corn and soybeans in Butler County and writing farm, tax and trade laws in the U.S. Senate have yielded big wins for Iowa’s ag economy.

There is no stronger, more experienced advocate for biofuels in the Senate. Chuck Grassley is a perennial thorn in the side of deep pocketed oil lobbyists who seek to shrink market share for Iowa biofuels. He’s taken both Republican and Democrat administrations to task to defend biofuels — even bringing the heat at 4 a.m., when a fellow senator tried to cheat biofuels producers to boost Big Oil. His work to promote markets for Iowa’s biofuels earned him a lifetime achievement award.

He’s also worked to open up new international markets for Iowa’s many other ag products by leading various trade agreements through the Senate, like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and calling out other countries that attempt to block Iowa’s goods. As a former chairman and senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley continues to be a leader in promoting trade opportunities for Iowa’s world class ag products.

Fair market access for independent beef producers is quickly becoming a serious domestic challenge, and of course, Chuck Grassley wasted no time getting to work. He used his clout as a respected member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to push for hearings, even bringing in executives from the nation’s largest meatpackers to shine a light on anticompetitive practices that sideline independent cattle producers.

Whether it be trade wars, anticompetitive practices, natural disasters or other outside forces, family farmers constantly face challenges that have a unique and profound impact on their livelihoods. Through it all, Chuck Grassley always has our backs. Take last year’s derecho, for example. When House Democrats blocked my bill that would deliver the same aid to affected farmers that’s available to other businesses impacted by natural disasters, Chuck Grassley picked up the cause in the Senate. I’m proud to say that our teamwork is getting us closer to delivering the assistance that Iowa farm families deserve.

When the going gets tough and families fall on hard times, Chuck Grassley’s decades of service ensure that Iowa’s family farms have the tools they need to get help and get back on their feet. When America’s farmers and ranchers faced a particularly difficult stretch in the 1980s, Chuck Grassley wrote Chapter 12 in the federal bankruptcy code, designed specifically for farm operations, so they could reorganize and return to farming without selling off all of their land and equipment to meet debt obligations. As farm families have again fallen on hard times in recent years, Chuck Grassley worked to pass an update to the law to recognize the appreciation in land and input costs and passed a law that expands mental health resources for folks struggling to cope with the stresses of farming.

Chuck Grassley’s institutional knowledge and dirt under his fingernails from working on his own family farm give Iowa farmers a big voice at the policymaking table. As Democrats in Congress look to raise revenue to pay for their costly big government programs, family farmers find themselves in the crosshairs. Whether it’s the death tax or repealing stepped up basis, Chuck Grassley continues to fight schemes that would saddle farmers with unnecessary and unfair taxes. These shenanigans are nothing new. When the Biden administration tried to revive a failed policy from the 1970s, Chuck Grassley delivered a swift reminder about the perils of the plan.

When you put in a farmer’s hours for decades in Washington, you accumulate a long list of accomplishments — not just for farmers, but for all Iowans. Chuck Grassley has earned respect on both sides of the aisle, making him one of the most effective lawmakers in the country. He’s the U.S. Senator Iowans, especially farmers, need in their corner for years to come.

Returning Chuck Grassley to the U.S. Senate is the best thing that could happen for Iowa farmers and our state’s farm economy. I endorse Chuck Grassley for re-election.

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