The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Romney announces leaders, members of campaign's farmers and ranchers coalition


From his Boston headquarters today, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, formally announced the leadership and membership of a “Farmers and Ranchers for Romney” coalition.

In a news release, the Romney campaign said the coalition would have six national chairs, a group of national co-chairs and an advisory committee that includes many agribusiness lobbyists. (See link below).

The national chairs are:
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam
  • Western Growers President Tom Nassif, a former ambassador
    Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey
  • Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
  • Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., former Agriculture secretary
  • National Council of Farmer Co-operatives President
    Charles Conner, former Agriculture deputy secretary and acting secretary

“I’m honored to have so many farmers and ranchers standing with my campaign,” Romney said.

“They are the backbone of America and play a critical role in ensuring Americans across the country have access to safe and affordable food,” he said.

“The fruit of their labor nourishes the world, and I admire their hard work in harvesting our country’s bountiful resources. Our farmers and ranchers also have a critical role in the health of our economy, employing millions of Americans. I’m grateful to have their support in my efforts to turn around the economy and strengthen the middle class.”

“As Florida’s Agriculture commissioner, I’m proud to be supporting Gov. Romney’s campaign to get this country moving in the right direction again,” Putnam said.

“While agriculture in America has its own set of unique challenges, farmers are looking for a leader in the White House who knows how the private sector works. Throughout the past three and a half years, President Obama has demonstrated in both his rhetoric and his policies that he lacks that understanding. I’m confident that Gov. Romney’s experience and vision will restore a brighter future for all Americans.”

“Having served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and represented Nebraskans as both governor and senator, I’m familiar with the challenges and opportunities throughout rural America,” Johanns said. “From ranches to family farms, the heartland helped build this nation and agriculture remains part of the very fabric that binds it together.

“President Obama’s policies have failed to reinvigorate our economy, and even worse, his regulatory overreach stifled growth and cost jobs,” Johanns said. “Once a man of soaring rhetoric, his words now diminish the labor and sacrifice of all Americans by saying they didn’t build their businesses.

“I grew up on a farm and know that success is not the result of government action, but rather individual initiative and hard work," he said. "Mitt Romney understands the power of free enterprise and its ability to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit. As president, he will not only jumpstart economic growth in this country, but also carefully tend to the needs of agricultural producers and rural communities.”

“I was raised on a family farm, and having policies which help agriculture thrive is close to my heart,” Conner said. “That’s one of the reasons why I’m supporting Mitt Romney.”

“The task of turning around our economy so it works for all Americans will not be an easy one, but I’m confident Gov. Romney will deliver,” Conner said. “Having spent most of his career in the private sector, he knows why President Obama’s policies have ill-served economic growth and the jobs that only free enterprise can create.”

“Here in Iowa, farmers form a key role in powering our economy,” said Northey.

“Over the course of the past three and a half years, President Obama hasn’t made good on the promises of his campaign four years ago, and the impact of his economic policies has been devastating throughout the country,” Northey said. “The need for a new direction and fresh leadership in the White House could not be clearer, and I believe Mitt Romney will provide both.”

“Farmers need a business-friendly federal government and also one that will take concrete steps to tackle immigration reform,” Nassif said in a news release from Western Growers, which recently endorsed Romney.

“I can confidently tell you that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan support having a legal and sufficient supply of labor that will ensure the continued domestic production of fresh produce and other farm commodities in the U.S.,” Nassif said.

“They understand our need for a new and better guest worker program and have a high regard for private enterprise, less regulatory red tape and relief from the income, estate and capital gains tax burdens that threatens successful, hard-working people and businesses. These are the principles that lead to job creation and economic growth.”