Representative Cindy Axne looks to defend her seat through policies that protect rural America

Voters in Iowa’s 3rd congressional district have a “do-over” on the ballot. Cindy Axne defeated former two-term Congressman David Youngin the 2018 election. Now, she will be defending her seat. RFD-TV’s Emily Buck joins Axne for a closer look at her policy goals in this Raise the Rural Vote segment.

Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne has been busy introducing legislation to help Iowa’s farmers and rural residents recover from the pandemic.

“I wrote a companion bill to Senator Grassley’s that I put forth in the House, to have 50 percent of the beef cattle purchased come from cash markets, with a 14 day delivery. Right now, we have a lack of transparency in that market,” Axne states. “We have a difficult time having smaller producers really getting the revenue, that I think, they should be getting for their product, and putting this bill together... Although across this country, some of our bigger producer aren’t really fond of it, my job is to protect Iowa producers.”

She says that increasing local and regional processing is another priority, as well as supporting rural businesses. That is why she introduced a bill on loan forgiveness.

“Recently, I put forth my Rural Equal Aid Act, as we have seen businesses fall by the wayside, of course with COVID,” the congresswoman notes. “Within our Paycheck Protection Program, we have loan forgiveness but for those USDA loans, we did not have loan forgiveness, and I don’t understand why we would limit the opportunity for rural businesses. So that is my bill, to make sure there is loan forgiveness for them as well.”

Congresswoman Axne says that the Farm Bill is a useful tool for structuring the programs that create more opportunity for conservation and sustainability.

“We also need to make sure that the NRCS has adequate staffing to provide the technical assistance for our farmers for things like conservation practices. I think we got huge opportunities in markets like carbon sequestration and those are going to be things we need to put the parameters in place for,” she explains.

She says farmers should have a seat at the table when programs are created: “I believe that states like Iowa should be number one when it comes to the opportunity for renewable energy and sustainable agriculture.. that means having farmers at the table, actually getting the information across to how we structure these things and then receiving the economic revenue opportunity as a result of it.”

Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production and Congresswoman Axne says that she is working to ensure market access.

“Tariffs on ethanol to Brazil is one that I’ve been in consistent contact with our Trade Ambassadors and his office to make sure that we can, hopefully, get rid of those tariffs,” she adds. “I’ve been a proponent in Congress urging with the USTR to allow tariff free ethanol in there.”

She also served on the House Rural Broadband Task Force and says that she is working to bring more connectivity to rural America.

For the full interview, click HERE.

For more election coverage, click HERE.