Agriculture is in the spotlight during this election year

We are just five days away from the election and we are seeing a lot of attention on agriculture as we race toward the finish line.

Five Senate races could shape the direction of ag policy this election.

Chris Clayton, DTN’s ag policy editor, states, “The Democrats, I think this time around, have been a lot more focused on rural issues, and it seems like I get peppered with stuff from Democrats that I did not get four years ago.”

He says that there are some key ag committee races to keep an eye on: “The big one is Iowa, where Joni Ernst, the polls show, is trailing Democrat Theresa Greenfield... that race is a very expensive dogfight right now, and Iowa up for grabs in the presidential race and the Senate race is up for grabs as well.”

The race to replace retiring Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts of Kansas is another worth watching.

“His seat is an open seat; the Republican which is Rep. Roger Marshall, who’s a member of the House Agriculture Committee,” Clayton states. “He’s favored to win that race right now, from what I understand, but what that does mean is that next year, no matter who wins the Senate, we’ll have a new Agricultural Committee Chairman there.”

In the U.S. House, Minnesota is getting a lot of attention.

Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson is facing off with former Lt. Governor Michelle Fishback for the 7th congressional district.

“He’s kind of the rock in the House of Representatives when it comes to agricultural policy, so everybody’s going to be paying very close attention to see if he can hold on in that race,” Clayton notes.

Peterson has said that finding solutions for COVID-19 and future pandemics is a priority.

“I would say that we’re probably going to spend the good part of next year on the Ag Committee working through this and what I’d like to do is get things on the shelf where the rules are written, the money is identified, all that stuff, so that if we have another pandemic, if we have African swine fever, if we have hoof and mouth disease, if we have avian influenza, we’ve got a plan ready to go and we can go to work the next day and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Congressman Peterson states.

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