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Farmers React to Obama's Atkinson, Ill., Town Hall

August 19, 2011

 President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting at Wyffels Hybrids on Wednesday morning. The President fielded questions from audience members, many of whom were farmers.

Rock Katschsnig, a 3,500 acre corn and soybean farmer from Prophetstown, Ill., expressed his concerns with potential regulations on dust and noise pollution. He told the president that he'd rather start his day in a tractor cab or combine cab than filling out needless paperwork.  "We hear what's coming down about dust pollution, noise pollution, water run off...sometimes the best approach is common sense and we're already using that," Katchsnig told the President.

In response, Obama said, don't always believe what you hear. He encouraged Katchsnig to check out the facts for himself and "if you ever have a question in place that is going to make it harder for you to farm, call USDA directly. Find out what it is you're concerned about and my suspicion is a lot of times, they're going to be able to answer your questions."

On the ethanol front, an 11-year old boy in attendance  asked the President what he would do to ensure ethanol remains a viable fuel source. Obama said he was committed to biofuels, but appeard to be more confident in the future of cellolosic ethanol and was less positive about the corn-based alternative fuel.

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