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Tom Harkin: Strengthening America with Investments in Rural America

Guest Post by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin

In the last few weeks I’ve traveled to over 26 cities and towns all over Iowa to meet face to face with residents and listen to their hopes, their concerns, and their feedback on the 2007 farm bill, which will strengthen investment and economic opportunities for our rural communities and farmers, conserve our environment while decreasing our dependence on foreign sources of oil and improve the quality and safety of our food and nutritional options for our children.

What struck me most during these personal meetings was how our uniquely American entrepreneurial spirit is stronger than ever. I have always believed that one of the cardinal responsibilities of government is to provide the basic infrastructure for Americans with innovative ideas to be able to readily carry them out — and in Washington, Anamosa, Lake City, and other cities and rural communities across Iowa — I was able to witness this entrepreneurial spirit first hand.

In Washington, I met with a local family-owned company called Practical Environmental Solutions that started with a grant they received from the 2002 farm bill that helps to reduce waste by transforming wood into pellets that can burn cleanly in an oven. And in Anamosa and Lake City, I met with farmers who are using innovative conservation practices that not only help protect and improve the environment, but also help strengthen their income from the Conservation Security Program that I created in the 2002 farm bill.

Throughout Iowa, I witnessed the tremendous amount of good that we can accomplish when we pair good government policy with this entrepreneurial spirit and I am hopeful that the 2007 farm bill will continue and expand upon programs such as these to strengthen our farms, our children and our families, our rural communities, and our country.

We can strengthen our farms and secure the future for the next generation of farmers by expanding opportunities by promoting conservation through initiatives like the Conservation Security Program and expanding use of farm-based renewable energy produced throughout Iowa.

We can strengthen our farm payment system so that it can better focus on what it was designed to do – help farmers when their incomes fall and they really need the help. That’s why I support stronger payment limitations and integrity in our farm programs.

We can strengthen our children and our families by expanding the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program so that elementary schoolchildren around the country can have access to healthy and nutritious meals so they can focus in the classroom and their parents no longer have to worry about what their children going to school hungry.

We can strengthen our rural communities by ensuring that they are not left out of the information revolution by increasing broadband access and working to jumpstart a new Rural Collaborative Investment Program to boost rural infrastructure and spur effective economic development strategies.

And we can strengthen our country by increasing funding for innovative programs such as the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program that helps entrepreneurs cover the cost of getting renewable energy facilities off the ground.

The 2007 farm bill is an incredibly important piece of legislation for Iowa and America’s future and I will fight every day to continue to be a voice for sensible policies and values that strengthen all of America.

Editors Note: Leave comments for Senator Harkin in the comment section below or at his own blog.

5 Responses to “Tom Harkin: Strengthening America with Investments in Rural America”

  1. Bob Sixta
    September 14th, 2007 17:13
    1

    Senator, Thank-you for your work to preserve rural America
    Your leadership coupled with Congressman Peterson’s leadership is greatly appreciated by every American who eats and breathes in this country. Thank-you also for serving on Bread for the World’s Board of Directors Thanks Bob Sixta

  2. Farmer Bob
    September 17th, 2007 17:39
    2

    Sen. Harkin, I farm in Iowa, and I have never received more than a $30,000 a year in farm payments. I hope you will seek limits that make sense for our state. I can’t imagine why anyone would need more than what I get.

  3. Steven Capozzola
    October 4th, 2007 10:16
    3

    We’re looking for bloggers who can cover a national Town Hall meeting hosted by John Ratzenberger in Des Moines at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Hy-Vee Hall of the Iowa Events Center (730 Third Street, Des Moines).

    I’ve pasted some info on the event below. Please feel free to contact me if you might be interested in attending and/or blogging at the event. I’d also be very grateful if you could please post this notice or pass it along to anyone who might be interested in blogging.

    Many thanks,
    Steven Capozzola
    Communications Director
    Alliance for American Manufacturing
    Phone: (202) 393-3430
    scapozzola@aamfg.org
    www.americanmanufacturing.org

    A national Town Hall meeting, hosted by John Ratzenberger, will be held in Des Moines at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Hy-Vee Hall of the Iowa Events Center (730 Third Street, Des Moines). Iowa bloggers are invited to attend and cover the event. A brief summary:
    1. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a national, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC, is sponsoring the event.
    2. The meeting will be hosted by TV’s John Ratzenberger (‘Cheers,’ The Travel Channel’s ‘Made in America’).
    3. The event will focus on Iowa’s continuing loss of manufacturing jobs. Voters will be encouraged to ask candidates blunt questions about what they’ll do to help save U.S. manufacturing.
    4. Attendance is free, and is open to the general public. Bloggers are encouraged to RSVP in order to reserve media seating and prime Internet access.
    5. Post-show interviews with John Ratzenberger must be arranged via RSVP before the event.
    To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Steven Capozzola at: scapozzola@aamfg.org, 202-393-3430. Official website: http://www.americanmanufacturing.org/keep-it-made-in-america/
    ##

  4. Brian H
    January 30th, 2008 23:39
    4

    It’s just nonsense that more government spending will make life vibrant in rural Iowa; it is not sustainable. Get the government out of the way and quit providing wild incentives for industrial agriculture. What Iowa has an abundance of is 1) land and 2) smart people. Level the playing field (or at least quit building berms and digging trenches) and resourceful people will stay.

  5. Kaylana
    April 15th, 2011 20:57
    5

    YMMD with that awnser! TX

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