In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer last week, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should ensure that farmers affected by excessive rainfall and flooding have accurate and timely information and assistance, and that they should not be penalized in later regulations for decisions and actions they need to take to deal with the pressing circumstances in the aftermath of disaster. The American Farm Bureau Federation’s June Market Update released yesterday shows that crops have incurred more than $8 billion in weather-related damages so far this year. Harkin’s home state of Iowa accounts for at least $4 billion of that overall total.

“In the wake of the enormous crop damage done by floods and disastrous weather over the last few weeks, Iowa farmers are scrambling to get the best information possible about what their options are for their crops in fields that are flooded or otherwise damaged by recent events,” said Harkin. “Those farmers have a range of programs conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that they should be able to turn to in these difficult times, but it is important that state and federal officials work together to make sure that timely and accurate information and assistance is provided about potential benefits from these programs and how they might be accessed.”

Harkin also called upon Secretary Schafer to take a number of actions that would assist livestock, dairy, poultry and egg producers to help them deal with hardships caused by current disaster and economic circumstances.

The Rural Agenda

Iowa’s rural communities embody what makes Iowa and America great. They are also what will make America thrive again—not just survive. With an election coming up and our future on the horizon, we should remember our rural priorities in our voting decisions.

Throughout my years in the Senate, I have worked hard on behalf of rural Iowans. As the general election nears, we should all remain committed to ensuring that family farms succeed, that Iowans have needed protection against disasters, and that Iowa crops continue to feed and fuel the world.

Now that the farm bill has become law, farm families, rural communities and all Iowans can expect to benefit from the solid progress of this legislation. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 protects farm income and makes crucial investments in rural development and nutrition, promotes renewable energy production and job creation in Iowa, and helps conserve resources for future generations.


From the Blog

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Political Action Committee Endorses Harkin


The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Political Action Committee (VFW-PAC) announced that it has officially endorsed Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in his bid for re-election to the United States Senate.

In a letter to the Iowa Senator, Director of the VFW-PAC Larry Rivers wrote, “In addition to comments received from VFW leaders in your state, this endorsement is based on your strong support for veterans, national security/defense, and military personnel issues.”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee is the nation’s only major Veterans Service Organization PAC. VFW-PAC provides 2.2 million members of the VFW, its auxiliaries and their families, with an opportunity to collectively support candidates for federal office. VFW-PAC endorses only those candidates for federal office who support our nations’ veterans and stand in support of a strong national defense.


2008 Harkin Steak Fry Pictures


On September 14th, Senator Harkin hosted his 31st annual Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa. The Steak Fry was a huge success with approximately 1800 guests braving the high winds and low temperatures to attend the event.

Click here to read more about the 2008 Harkin Steak Fry

Click here for more pictures from this great event