Iowa got its first look at the current batch of Republican presidential hopefuls on Saturday, thanks to the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit. Organized by Iowa businessman Bruce Rastetter, the event highlighted a number of high-profile potential candidates and their views on farm policy and agricultural issues.
Like just about every news event these days, the event had its own hashtag (#AgSummit) and a host of attendees sharing speakers’ remarks—and their own comments and images—via social media.
As expected, ethanol and the renewable fuel standard was definitely on the discussion agenda.
But interpreting the speakers’ answers about ethanol and RFS proved to be rather challenging.
Candidates also gave their opinion on GMO labeling, which many states have taken up as a ballot initiative.
So, how did Bush, Christie, Walker and others do?
Like so many things in life, it depends on who you ask. Politico notes former Texas Gov. Rick Perry “did the most to connect with farmers,” mentioning the challenges of weather and low commodity prices. Bloomberg, however, said Perry “failed to fully leverage what is the deepest ag background in the field to separate himself on policy.”
Which of these likely Republican presidential candidates do you think would be best for agriculture? Worst for agriculture? Let us know on the AgWeb discussion boards.