VAN METER, IOWA, Oct. 9, 2012 - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brings his 2012 campaign back to Iowa today with a focus on farm and rural policy.

Romney plans to address agricultural issues during an event held at the Koch family farm near Van Meter, focusing on some of the same themes that he outlined with the August rollout of his national farm and ranch coalition: Expanding trade, elimination of the death tax, getting rid of excessive overregulation, and building energy independence by 2020. However, there is more detail to the rural plan released today.

“America’s farmers and ranchers play an incredibly important role in our economic prosperity and must be supported,” said Romney. “My Plan for a Stronger Middle Class includes policies that will help the agriculture sector thrive and deliver an economic recovery for rural America.”


According to his campaign, Romney will criticize President Obama for pursuing harmful policies from "tax increases and onerous regulations, to a stalled trade agenda, to efforts to drive up the cost of energy, the President’s agenda has consistently disregarded the concerns and needs of farmers, ranchers, and rural communities."


“We already ask our farmers and ranchers to cope with natural disasters,” said Romney. “They should not also have to battle a man-made disaster of taxes and regulations from Washington. Our economic recovery must also be a rural recovery, and my plan for a stronger middle class will ensure that our agricultural sector grows and thrives.”


To read the Romney campaign’s full rural policy white paper, click


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has repeatedly visited the state to make the case for four more years of President Obama and to blame the GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives for failure to pass a new farm bill. But today, Vilsack is just across the border in Omaha, attending a regional drought recovery workshop. Patty Judge, a former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and former Lt. Governor is expected to be on hand in Van Meter today to rebut Romney’s comments.

In advance of his speech, the Romney campaign announced its Iowa Farmers for Romney coalition that is led by Iowa GOP Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey and former Farm Bureau leaders Dean Kleckner and Craig Lang, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, U.S. Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham, and an advisory panel made up of more than 70 farmers and their spouses.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey pointed to the important role that farmers and agricultural businesses play in powering Iowa’s economy.

“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. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will provide new direction and fresh leadership in the White House that will allow us to boost trade, bring America back from the fiscal cliff, and increase take-home pay for the middle class.”

The complete list of the Iowa Farmers for Romney coalition is below: 

Chair: Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture


Co-Chair: Dean Kleckner, former President of the American Farm Bureau Federation


Co-Chair: Craig Lang, former President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation



Honorary Co-Chairs


Chuck Grassley, United States Senator


Mike Johanns, United States Senator*


Steve King, United States Congressman


Tom Latham, United States Congressman



Advisory Board


Dr. Duane Acker, Atlantic


Charlie Albrecht, Readlyn


Ben Albright, Lytton


Jim and Jacque Andrew, Jefferson


John Askew, Thurman


Varel Bailey, Anita


Norman and Ruth Barker, Le Mars


Tom and Judy Barrett, Dallas Center


Senator Merlin Bartz, Grafton


Larry Beyer, Marengo


Mark Buskohl, Grundy Center


Dave Calderwood, Traer


Jeff Cuddeback, Washington


Kelly and Christy Cunningham, Atlantic


State Representative Dave Deyoe, Nevada


Joseph Dierichx, DeWitt


State Senator Bill Dix, Shell Rock


Tom Dorr and Ann Allison Dorr, W. Des Moines


Andrew Dorr, Urbandale


Mike Fara, Irwin


Will Frazee, Emerson


Doug and Teresa Freund, Atlantic


John and LaNette Freund, Lewis


Kevin and Kylie Freund, Lewis


Marilyn Freund, Atlantic


Matt and Dawn Freund, Lewis


Ray and Elaine Gaesser, Corning


Chris Gaesser, Lenox


Richard Golinghorst, Walcott


Ann Wilson-Grant, Delhi


State Representative Pat Grassley, New Hartford


Joe and Jodie Greig, Estherville


State Senator Sandra Greiner, Keota


Sharon and Jim Greif, Monticello


Darrick Hall, Anamosa


State Representative Lee Hein, Monticello


Keith and Alexa Heffernan, Cedar Falls


Doug Hoffman, Clarence


James and Theresa Hohenberger, Atlantic


Kyle Holthaus, Waukon


Bill Horan, Rockwell City


Dr. Charles Hurburgh, Ames


Dustin Johnson, Alburnett


Todd Kalkwarf, Aplington


State Senator Tim Kapucian, Keystone


Glen Keppy, Davenport


Karol and Rozanne King, Mondamin


Jeff and Diane Koch, Van Meter


Jim and Margaret Koch, Van Meter


Lindsey Larson, Jefferson


Ron Litterer, Greene


Landi McFarland, Ellston


Derryl McLaren, Farragut


Andrew Naeve, Clinton


Charlie Norris, Mason City


Wayne and Margaret Northey, Spirit Lake


State Representative Steven Olson, DeWitt


Jim and Nancy Pellett, Atlantic


Brad and Kristy Pellett, Atlantic


Dan Petersen, Muscatine


Guy Peterson, Wyoming


Ken Rozenboom, Oskaloosa


Al Schafbuch, Dysart


Javen and Kathy Smith, Atlantic


Dan Stadtmueller, Monticello


State Representative Annette Sweeney, Alden


Bryan Young, Stratford


Dan Zumbach, Ryan


Doran Zumbach, Coggon



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