Agriculture was not present for the first presidential debate

If you were hoping to hear how President Donald Trump and Former VP Joe Biden would boost agriculture--you were disappointed.

Political pundits called the first presidential debate everything from chaotic to energetic, but both candidates consistently failed to pull agriculture into the conversation.

Moderator Chris Wallace focused on six topics, including climate change. Democratic candidate Joe Biden says that more support is needed for clean energy and renewable fuels.

Biden states, “During our administration Recovery Act I was able to bring down the cost of renewable energy to cheaper than or as cheap as coal and gas and oil. Nobody is going to build another coal fire plant in America; no one is going to build another oil fire plant in America. They are going to move to renewable energy.”

Ethanol has been a key talking point on the campaign trail in rural America, but neither candidate specifically outlined a plan to build demand.

When asked if climate change is contributing to the wildfires raging in California, President Trump called for better forest management.

“As far as the fires are concerned, you need forest management, in addition to everything else,” the President noted. “The forest floor is loaded up with trees, dead trees, that are years old like tinder, leaves, and everything else. You drop a cigarette in there the whole forest burns down.”

A brief mention of trade policy quickly developed into a series of back and forth personal jabs between both candidates.

“He’s done very little and his trade deals are the same way. He talks about these great trade deals, he talks about the art of the deal; China has perfected the art of the steal. We have a higher deficit with China than we did before,” Biden states.

Another topic of the debate was healthcare. President Trump says he is standing up to “Big Pharma” with his latest executive order to protect coverage for preexisting conditions and cut drug prices.

According to Trump, “I’m cutting drug prices, I’m going with favored nations, which no President has the courage to do, because you are going against ‘Big Pharma’. Drug prices will be coming down 80-90 percent. You could have done it during your 47 year period in government, but you didn’t do it. Nobody has done it.”

Biden fired back saying that the recent executive order has no power, instead he supports the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act and a Medicaid expansion: “It’s only for those people who are so poor they qualify for Medicaid. They can get that free in most states, except governors who want to deny people who are poor Medicaid. Anyone that qualifies for Medicaid would automatically be enrolled in the public option. The vast majority of people would still not be in that option.”

Now it is back on the campaign trail for both Trump and Biden. The next debate happens next week with the Vice President candidates.