By Sara Muri
, Farm Journal Business & Crops Online Editor
Presidential hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently answered a series of agricultural-related questions provided by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The questionnaire's topics included:
- Farm Bill Implementation
- Renewable Energy
- International Trade
- Immigration Reform
- Death Tax
- Environmental Regulations
- Climate Change
- Water Quality
The final question was: Why should farmers and ranchers vote for you?
Sen. Obama replied:
During my time in the Illinois Senate and in the U.S. Senate, I've had the great privilege of representing some of America's hardest working and most productive farmers. And farmers have helped teach me how important this sector is to the nation. We depend on agriculture to provide food, feed, fiber and fuel, and it's vital that federal policies help our farmers make a living and contribute to our nation's food security. This election is our chance to bring about the change our farms and rural areas so desperately need. We cannot afford four more years of the Bush rural agenda, and that's what Sen. McCain is offering. Like President Bush, he opposed a farm bill that is helping many family farmers. And he has a long history of opposing renewable fuels. It's time to make the rural agenda America's agenda. That's the kind of leadership you deserve—and if you stand with me in November, that's the kind of leadership I will offer as president .
Sen. McCain replied:
The continuing success of American agriculture and the health of America's rural heartland require leadership that understands that productivity and innovation are created by the effort, ingenuity and investment of individual Americans. Our nation's security depends on the health of American agriculture and I will promote agricultural policies that help America's farmers and ranchers thrive in the 21st century. As president, I will work to develop all of America's domestic energy resources, reduce taxes and government regulation, preserve property rights, provide a sustainable, market-driven risk management system for farmers and ranchers, improve incentives to invest in technology and rural infrastructure, reduce trade barriers, secure our borders while providing a fair and practical temporary labor program and strengthen the American economy by eliminating wasteful government spending.
Read all of the comments.
In July, both presidential candidates spoke to the American Farm Bureau Federation's Council of President's meeting, via teleconference.
Listen to the candidate's statements.