2018 is shaping up to be a competitive campaign year in Iowa, with large, diverse fields in races for Congress and the governor's office. Below is a list of declared candidates, which will be updated and revised as the campaign unfolds. RepublicansKim Reynolds, 58, the state’s two-term lieutenant governor, became governor in May after Gov. Terry Branstad’s resignation to become the U.S. ambassador to China. She’s an Osceola native who previously served in the Iowa Senate and as Clarke County Treasurer.Ron Corbett, 56, is the outgoing mayor of Cedar Rapids and a former speaker of the Iowa House.Steven Ray, 47, of Boone, is a member of the Boone City Council and a former public service executive for the Iowa State Patrol. DemocratsNate Boulton, 37, is a first-term state senator from Des Moines and an attorney specializing in labor law and workers compensation.Cathy Glasson, 58, of Coralville, is a nurse and president of the SEIU Local 199, which … [Read more...] about Who’s running for office in Iowa in 2018?
Iowa farm bureau federation
Monsanto Co. and nearly a dozen state and national farm groups are suing California over the state's decision to list the popular ag chemical glyphosate as a carcinogen."The impact on farmers could be ... very detrimental," said Kirk Leeds, CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association.The soybean group, the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, and the National Corn Growers Association are among the groups suing California over its decision to add glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals.Glyphosate is a key ingredient in Monsanto's top-selling weedkiller Roundup.The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment made the decision in July.The agency said Wednesday it followed proper procedures in listing the herbicide and "stands by its decision."California's Proposition 65, a ballot initiative passed in 1986, requires the state to protect drinking water sources "from being contaminated with chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or … [Read more...] about Iowa farm groups sue California after it lists Roundup ingredient as cancer-causing chemical
U.S. threats to pull out of longstanding trade agreements with Mexico and Canada could drag Iowa's ag industry into another depression, some state farm leaders say."We're not doing that well now, so any more bad news could push us over the edge," said Dermot Hayes, an Iowa State University economist.U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday downplayed reports earlier this week that the Agriculture Department is working on contingency plans for U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement.Perdue said he was probably premature to publicly discuss possible contingency plans. "I think it's my responsibility to think about what-if scenarios," he said."I wanted to make the administration aware there could be some devastating price changes if NAFTA is not renegotiated," said the former Georgia governor, who has suggested farmers would need "safety nets" if they lost the NAFTA agreement.He declined on Friday to elaborate what the safety nets would … [Read more...] about Could NAFTA withdrawal push Iowa into another farm crisis? Ag leaders say it’s possible.
Farm Bureau Health Plans will not sell individual Affordable Care Act insurance next year as a surge in 2017 membership threatens the company with heavy losses.The company covered 25,046 Tennesseans with its ACA-compliant plans as of the end of May. The company projects it could lose more than $15 million on those members by the end of 2017, according to a letter it sent to the state's insurance commissioner dated June 21. But the losses are only one factor in its decision. More: Demand rises for alternatives to Obamacare plans Anthony Kimbrough, CEO, wrote that persistent uncertainty in Washington, D.C., prevents the company from understanding the future landscape of the insurance market. "Congress has yet to agree to new legislation and CMS Administrator Seema Verma acknowledges rule changes proposed by the department are only temporary corrections, “…not a long-term cure for the problems that the Affordable Care Act has created in our healthcare … [Read more...] about Farm Bureau Health Plans to drop ACA options in 2018, cites unsustainable financials
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he didn't know if or why his staff refused to allow him to appear at a candidate forum sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation alongside Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, his opponent in November's election."I don't really know, I just heard this is the way it was set up," Paul said during a press conference afterward. "I showed up and answered my questions."It's only the second time in the past 35 years that both candidates for a top office didn't meet simultaneously with the Kentucky Farm Bureau, said Mark Haney, the Farm Bureau's president.The last time both candidates didn't appear together was in 2002 when U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democrat Lois Combs Weinberg faced the farm bureau separately.Haney refused to confirm that it was Paul's staff that balked at the normal arrangements but said that one campaign did specify that it wanted to meet with the farm bureau's board separately.Earlier in the day, Gray said it was Paul who refused to debate him … [Read more...] about What happened to Paul, Gray farm bureau debate?
LUANPING COUNTY, China — The Iowa farmer stepped up to the lectern in a setting both familiar and foreign.He stood within view of yellowed and crinkly corn stalks nearly ready for harvest and a row of shiny green John Deere tractors.He might have glanced across the countryside anywhere in Iowa this time of year and seen the same thing.But the farmer, Rick Kimberley, also stood in front of a head table on a massive stage that featured a cross-cultural lineup of a dozen officials presided over by the local Communist Party secretary for this corner of China, as well as U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad.The event was the groundbreaking for the China-U.S. Demonstration Farm, or the “Friendship Farm,” a partnership between the two superpowers.A recreated version of Kimberley’s farm is at the heart of the new tourist draw, in partnership with Iowa businessman Luca Berrone, Chinese company Risesun and, of course, the government.China is eager to modernize the operations of … [Read more...] about China is recreating an Iowa farm near Beijing. And there’s a lot at stake for both countries.
Craig Lang, former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, says he wants to help farmers find solutions to challenges the state's growers face — from tackling water quality problems to improving rural development.Lang, 66, plans to run for Iowa agriculture secretary. Bill Northey, the state current agriculture secretary, has been nominated for a post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Lang, a Brooklyn dairy farmer, said he will formally announce his plans once Northey is confirmed as USDA's undersecretary for farm production and conservation.Northey, a Spirit Lake farmer, is expected to easily win confirmation.Gov. Kim Reynolds will appoint someone to fill the ag secretary's job until the 2018 election.State Rep. Pat Grassley, grandson to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, is among the leading contenders for the job. Sen. Grassley said he would strongly support his grandson.Lang, who filed papers with the state ethics board, setting up his campaign … [Read more...] about Former Farm Bureau president Craig Lang to run for Iowa ag secretary
The Leopold Center's toughest challenge might be to convince Iowa farmers -- and the powerful commodity groups and corporations backing them -- that its work is still critically needed."Having the ag community's support is essential to moving forward. It's key to our survival," said Robert Riley, CEO of Riley Resource Group in Pleasant Hill.Riley is one of 11 task force members charged with helping the center find a new path forward. They've been crisscrossing the state this summer, listening to what Iowans see as the center's priorities.The group expects to deliver a report by early next year.Research backed by the Leopold Center, charged with asking tough questions about agriculture's impact on the environment, has created tension between it and some farm groups, say Riley and others.The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University has backed hundreds of research projects over three decades that look at ways to mitigate ag's impact on the … [Read more...] about Leopold Center’s battle for new life begins with Iowa farmers, commodity groups
DES MOINES, Iowa — Up to 5.3 million hens at an Iowa farm must be destroyed after the highly infectious and deadly bird flu virus was confirmed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday. The farm in northwest Iowa's Osceola County has nearly 10 percent of the state's egg-laying hens. Iowa is home to roughly 59 million hens that lay nearly one in every five eggs consumed in the country. Egg industry marketing experts say it's too early to predict the impact on prices, but say it's unlikely to immediately cause a spike or a shortage, because number of chickens that are to be euthanized is a little more than 1 percent of the nation's egg layers. "Don't panic. Let's wait and see," said poultry industry consultant Simon Shane, who also teaches poultry science and veterinary medicine at North Carolina State University. He added that if 20 million to 30 million hens are infected, consumers could start seeing prices rise. Several Midwestern states have been affected by … [Read more...] about Iowa farm to destroy 5.3 million chickens after bird flu outbreak
Them city slickers trying to boot carriage horses from New York don’t know diddly about livestock and should leave well enough alone, an influential farming group charged Wednesday. The American Farm Bureau Federation — in an unusual foray into Big Apple politics — is calling on Mayor de Blasio to drop his plans to ban the horse and carriage industry from the city because it’s being pushed by people with no horse sense. “This valued tradition allows people to connect with the horses and tour the city in a historic and unique way,” Bob Stallman, president of the Washington-based national group, said. He called the carriage horses an “an important asset” to the city. “Despite activist rhetoric that these horses are tortured and mistreated, they are in fact well cared for and valued,” he said. The group, which lobbies for farmers and educates members on the latest agricultural … [Read more...] about American Farm Bureau Federation calls on de Blasio to stop plan to ban carriage horses