BOSTON, MA, August 15, 2012 – Mitt Romney unveiled members of the “Farmers and Ranchers for Romney” team today, including several secretaries of agriculture and current members of Congress who are supporting his presidential race.
“I’m honored to have so many farmers and ranchers standing with my campaign,” said Mitt Romney in a statement released this morning. “They are the backbone of America and play a critical role in ensuring Americans across the country have access to safe and affordable food. 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.” 

Neither President Obama nor Gov. Romney has outlined a specific agenda for farm policy this year, but Romney is starting to provide more details about how his administration would handle key issues.   

“There’s no question that there is a real contrast between Gov. Romney and President Obama when it comes to American agriculture,” noted Chuck Conner, a former Deputy and Acting Secretary of Agriculture during the George W. Bush Administration who is serving as one of the national chairs for the coalition.

Conner told Agri-Pulse that there are several actions Gov. Romney pledged to take in order to help agriculture and rural America on “Day one” if elected to serve as president.  These include:

·         Seek expanded Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to begin what Conner described as a “stalled process to open new markets for agricultural products across the globe.”

·         Repeal the estate tax. Without further legislative action, estate taxes will increase dramatically to a 55% rate for estates valued above $1 million on Jan. 1, 2013, which could threaten the ability of families to pass down the farm to future generations.

·         Place a “regulatory cap” on new regulations and by executive order, instruct each federal agency to come up with a system – similar to zero-based budgeting – which would require agencies to consider the costs before imposing onerous new regulations. “This would end the cycle of placing more and more regulations on farmers and ranchers,” Conner explained.  

The coalition includes:

National Chairs

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam

Ambassador Tom Nassif

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

Sen. Mike Johanns (NE)

Former USDA Acting/Deputy Secretary Charles Conner

National Co-Chairs

Secretary John Block

Secretary Ed Schafer

Secretary Clayton Yeutter

Sen. Pat Roberts (KS)

Sen. Jerry Moran (KS)

Sen. Roy Blunt (MO)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA)

Sen. John Hoeven (ND)

Sen. Thad Cochran (MS)

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA)

Sen. John Boozman (AR)

Rep. Frank Lucas (OK)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA)

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX)

Rep. Mike Conaway (TX)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE)

Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (PA)

Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN)

Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH)

Rep. Scott Tipton (CO)

Rep. Steve Southerland (FL)

Rep. Rick Crawford (AR)

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS)

Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL)

Rep. Reid Ribble (WI)

Rep. Jack Kingston (GA)

Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN)

Rep. Cory Gardner (CO)

Rep. Tom Latham (IA)

Rep. Kristi Noem (SD)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black

Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Michael Strain

Michigan Agriculture Director Jamie Clover Adams

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith

South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples

Utah Agriculture Commissioner Leonard Blackham

Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel

National Advisory Board

Former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jack Parnell

Former Agriculture Secretary Bill Even, South Dakota

Former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Gen “A.G.” Kawamura, California

Former Agriculture Secretary Don Ament, Colorado

Bryan Black, Past President, National Pork Producers Council

Al Montna, Former Chairman, USA Rice Federation

Chris Policinski, CEO, Land O'Lakes

Greg Ibach, Director – Nebraska Department of Agriculture

J.D. Alexander – President, National Cattleman’s Beef Association

The Honorable Randy Russell, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Agriculture

Katie Smith – Former Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture

John Miller— Former CEO, National Beef Packing Company

Steve Troxler – North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner

The Honorable Leland Strom

John Johnson, former USDA Deputy Administrator

Charles Kruse, former Missouri Farm Bureau President

Nathan Sanderson Ph.D., Agriculture Policy Advisor to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard

Tom Stenzel, President, United Fresh Produce Association

Jim Magagna, Wyoming

Hobey Bauhan, Virginia

Jay Vroom

Beau Greenwood

Sam Moore, Kentucky

James Moody, Cold Creek Farms

Bruce Nelson, Former Chairman, USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

Dan Wyant, Past Director, Michigan Department of Agriculture

Mike Yost, Past Chairman and President, American Soybean Association

Former U.S. Senator Duncan Faircloth (NC)

Former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes (NC), Chairman, NC Republican Party

Trent Bushner, former President Colorado Corn Growers

Robert Bray, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association

Mike Firestine, Pennsylvania

Dave Armstrong, GreenStone Farm Credit Services

Richard Ebert, Vice President of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau


For more news, go to: