Candidates Differ on Ag Strategies

Farm Bureau survey reveals differences in addressing world trade, biotechnology and extending the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Compiled by staff

Published on: Oct 4, 2004

With campaign stops plaguing rural states, presidential candidates are trying to outline what they would do for agriculture if elected. To help producers understand where President George Bush and Sen. John Kerry stand on several agricultural issues, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) released the results of its presidential election survey.

In the survey, posted on the AFBF Web site, both candidates responded to AFBF’s questions about farm bill reauthorization, renewable energy, biotechnology, repeal of the death tax and transportation infrastructure, among others.

Both candidates supported expanding the use of renewable fuels and eliminating estate tax impacts on farm families, but had differing perspectives on issues such as extending Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and promoting acceptance of biotechnology.

Bush says that in order for farming and ranch families to continue to make a living, Congress should pass the comprehensive energy bill and eliminate death taxes. He also says he would continue to press for new market opportunities. "America’s farmers and ranchers produce the best crops and livestock in the world. Given the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, they will be able to increase their share of markets here at home and across the globe."

Kerry says as president he would "fight for fair trade policies, reduce concentration in agribusiness, enhance conservation measures and expand non-traditional uses for agricultural products, such as ethanol and bio-based energy products." He says he would also maintain a "strong safety net to protect against low prices, improvements in the risk management programs and emergency federal disaster assistance."