Presidential Candidates & The Agriulture Industry: What You Need To Know

With the presidential election nearing closer, and the campaign period officially beginning as of February 9th, its becoming increasingly more difficult to sift through the political jargon and lobbyist propaganda. And if you're like us, you believe the people need to be informed. After all, if you don't know who you're voting for, why vote at all? In a democracy the voting system is the people's platform to have their opinion heard. Be able to stand firm behind your decisions, whatever they may be, and know what your candidates are saying.

We all need to be taking the voting process seriously. And we at the grow.blog talk a lot about sustainability, and protecting our resources. The agricultural problem in our country is a growing issue and one that should be at the center of your decision making this year. The agriculture sector contributes roughly 10% to the country’s total output (GDP), but accounts for roughly 30% of the total employed labor force.

This means that about 30% of the American labor force has to share only 10% of the output GDP (gross domestic product). This signals low productivity in agriculture and a significant issue for everyone. Our country's next president's viewpoints on the agricultural industry have the potential to create huge economical and health changes. So we're going to give it to you straight. Take a look at the following opinions directly expressed by some of the candidates about the future of our agricultural industries.

Clinton -

There are more than 40 million Americans living in small towns in rural America, and Mrs. Clinton claims she understands this. She does not want to ignore the numbers and stated recently in Iowa that she wants "to figure out how to grow together". Clinton has also stated that she wants to bring increased funding for new farmers, as to promote clean energy leadership and improve educational opportunities. That being said, below are some more of her key points on the agriculture industry and what she hopes to accomplish if elected.

  • believes creating more clean energy would be a boom to agricultural industries.
  1. hopes to expand bio fuel use and research
  2. hopes to expand the use of solar panels by half a billion by the end of her first term
  • expand Internet access to help rural communities progress and thrive.
  • comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to stabilize the agricultural work force.
  • believes that the growing agriculture industry would in turn help the drug addiction problems plaguing the country.

Sanders -

Bernie Sanders believes that family farms and ranches are the backbone of rural America and the U.S. economy.  During his career, the Senator successfully fought for rural economic development, investments in farm-to-table (or farm-to-school) initiatives, agri-tourism, school gardens and much more. So what does he say he will fight for now if elected president?

  • for farm policies that will support new owners and operators.
  • to establish an on-going regeneration of our soils.
  • to enlist farmers as partners in promoting conservation to combat climate change.
  • to take every step possible to include the growth of the bio-fuels industry in order to halt our dependency on renewable fuels.

Cruz -

Ted Cruz has an opposition to energy subsidies and the EPA, and claims he is committed to a fair, and level playing field for every energy source. He states that "we should pursue all of the above (natural resources). We should be developing oil, and gas, and coal, and nuclear, and wind, and solar, and ethanol, and bio-fuels. I don't believe that Washington should be picking winners and losers". And Cruz has drafted a tax plan that eliminates every mandate and subsidy for oil and gas. He has also introduced legislation that would hopefully achieve the following:

  • phase out the ethanol mandate over five years, but with no mandates for anyone.
  • tear down the EPA's blend wall which will enable ethanol to expand its market share by up to 60%

Trump -

Trump has not offered a direct or organized platform on agriculture. However, he has commented on other ideas and opinions that greatly affect the agriculture industry, such as immigration. And roughly 1.4 million undocumented immigrants work on U.S. farms each year, or about 60% of the agricultural labor force. That's a significant chunk. Trump says he wants to handle illegal immigration with extreme action, but also claims "things are going to change" in regards to the department of agriculture. 

  • Trump's desire to deport 11 million illegal immigrants poses a huge threat to our farming communities.
  • In Rochester, New Hampshire when a man complained about fees from the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Agriculture, Trump declared, "Things are going to change!" Then he quickly moved on" (edition.cnn.com).

While we understand there is much more to be discussed when deciding who gets your vote for president, we encourage our readers to pay attention to what the candidates think. And to educate themselves about our climate change, environmental protection and resources. These are important areas of concern for everyone, regardless of which side of the political spectrum you lean towards.

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