Sen. Ernst wraps up her “Homegrown” Tour

Iowa farmers and ranchers are facing several layers of challenges, including the pandemic, derecho storm damage and drought.

Senator Joni Ernst recently wrapped up her “Homegrown” 99 county tour of Iowa. Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue joined her to survey the derecho storm damage.

According to Ernst, “The President, as soon as that emergency declaration request went from the governor to the President, he did sign on to that, and then we had Secretary Perdue visit the state of Iowa. He came in, did an extensive tour by air, so he could see the damage and he did sign a secretarial disaster declaration for 18 of our most effected counties.”

The tour also included stops at small businesses and innovative farming operations.

While on the road, she heard from constituents about the relief needed to get back to business during the pandemic.

“Some of what we heard... was about the need to really get those ethanol plants producing again and how that would be supportive of our farmers,” she said. “So, I do have a plan, Senator Grassley and I have worked on this plan that would go into a targeted relief package for COVID-19, that would allow the biofuel producers to receive assistance from the federal government.”

The House and Senate are also still at odds over the next relief package. Negotiations are expected to resume when lawmakers return to the Hill after Labor Day.

“We have continued with those negations just through this past week... we need Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to come to the table and really look at what we need for COVID recovery,” Ernst said. “They’re willing to throw out a dollar figure but they’re not willing to let us know what they want to spend those dollars on...”

The Senator is also calling on the administration to ensure the newly implemented U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement is fully enforced, to ensure a level playing field for American producers.