Iowa Corn Growers Release Caucus Reference Guide to the Candidates
Contact: Mindy Larsen-Poldberg, Director of Government Relations, 515-225-9242
Johnston, Iowa, December 4, 2007 - The Iowa Corn Growers Association today released a reference guide to presidential candidates’ positions on agricultural issues for use during the Iowa caucuses.
“This is a new initiative to help Iowa’s corn growers go into the caucuses with a handy way to compare the candidates on agricultural issues,” explained Don Elsbernd, a grower from Postville and ICGA officer. “We don’t make any recommendations or endorsements – we just let the candidates’ answers speak for themselves.”
The quick reference guide provides a chart of the 16 major candidates’ responses to 12 questions about the farm bill, crop insurance, ethanol and alternate fuels, transportation, and trade. Candidates who agree with ICGA policy on a specific question earn a check mark. Opposition is indicated with an X.
The ICGA has made repeated contacts with the campaigns since June to collect survey responses and has followed its contacts with research on candidates’ press statements and published opinions as needed.
The guide is part of a broader ICGA caucus initiative in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), according to Elsbernd: “Every four years, the Iowa caucuses give us a great opportunity to make sure our national leaders understand the importance of agriculture and the issues facing the corn industry. The ICGA’s Targeted Agricultural Education Program (TAEP) is our new effort to get the most mileage out of the caucus process.” He said the ICGA will coordinate with NCGA to share program results with corn growers across the nation.
TAEP works on two levels – surveying the candidates to provide better information to caucus-goers and matching ICGA volunteers with each major campaign to serve as a liaison and resource for the candidates and their staffs.
“If there’s a question affecting corn, we want every presidential candidate to know an Iowa grower who is ready and willing to provide answers, and we want Iowans to know how the candidates stand on our issues,” Elsbernd said.
The guide will be mailed to all ICGA members and posted on the ICGA
website at www.iowacorn.org. Single copies can also be requested by calling