The National Corn Growers Association on Thursday released responses submitted by presidential candidates President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney to an NCGA questionnaire on issues facing rural communities and America's farmers.
The information provided by both candidates meant to help corn growers and interested voters gain information on the issues that impact agriculture and rural America.
"While NCGA does not endorse a specific candidate, we do aim to provide clear, direct information about where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to farmers," said NCGA President Pam Johnson.
"Our members understand the magnitude of the impact that regulations and legislation can have on their farms. This understanding spurs them to political action, whether it be voting, volunteering or campaigning for the candidate that they choose. Every farmer must make his or her own decisions in the polling place, and we support them by promoting honest, open dialogue," Johnson added.
Question topics included the farm bill, renewable energy, taxes, trade and infrastructure. When asked about the farm bill, both candidates expressed an interest in passing a five-year bill.
Romney focused on global competition and a "level playing field."
"Other nations subsidize their farmers, so we must be careful not to unilaterally change our policies in a way that would disadvantage agriculture here in our country. In addition, we want to make sure that we don't ever find ourselves in a circumstance where we depend on foreign nations for our food the way we do with energy," Romney's response said.
Obama's farm bill comments focused on improving the crop insurance program and access to credit.
"My administration has expanded farm credit to help more than 100,000 farmers struggling during the financial crisis to keep their family farms and provide for their families … as farmers continue to go through hard times because of this drought, we are expanding access to low-interest loans, encouraging insurance companies to extend payment deadlines and opening new lands for livestock farmers to graze their herds," Obama's comments said.
Regarding another hot topic, environmental regulation, Obama and Romney each addressed existing environmental policies.
"I have always been committed to looking at existing rules on the books, and streamline, fix and eliminate those that aren't working. Last year, I issued an Executive Order calling for a government-wide review of regulations to reduce costs, eliminate unnecessary burdens, and get rid of unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money," Obama's response said.
Romney's comments promised a "balanced approach" to environmental policy.
"Washington has forgotten that fact by seeking to impose overzealous federal regulation of workers, water, fertilizer, and even dust – ignoring the practical realities and common sense of what it take to produce and care for our natural resources," his comments said.
To read the full candidate responses, click here.
Previous questionnaires conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association also address rural and agricultural issues. Click the links to learn more about each.