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Photo - The 2002 Farm Bill will strengthen Iowa's rural economy by providing Iowans with a $1.7 billion economic stimulus package this year. As the first Iowan to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 100 years, Tom Harkin worked hard to draft and pass a new farm bill through Congress this year which President Bush said was “good for the American farmer, and it’s good for the United States of America.”

The 2002 Farm Bill will strengthen Iowa’s rural economy by providing Iowans with a $1.7 billion economic stimulus package this year. The bill provides support for rural communities through equity capital programs, funds for water and sewer projects, the promotion of bio-energy production such as ethanol, and provides farmers with a real economic safety net while continuing the planting flexibility in the 1996 farm bill.

Senator Harkin knows promoting farm-based renewable energy is key to Iowa’s growth. That is why he mandated federal agencies to give preference to purchasing bio-based products like ethanol.

Because farmers should be rewarded for their sound conservation practices, this year Harkin got his Conservation Security Act passed, and fought for the largest increase in conservation programs in history in the new farm bill. More conservation by our farmers means a cleaner, greener Iowa for our children.

Another program in the 2002 Farm Bill Senator Harkin worked on creates record investment in rural broadband and high-speed internet access in Iowa communities. This will bring the latest technology advances to our farmers, businesses, schools and families.

Farmers for Harkin is a group of Iowa farmers working to send Senator Harkin back to the U.S. Senate to continue to work on their behalf. The group campaigns for Harkin across Iowa at county fairs, parades and events, and encourages other Iowa farmers to support Tom.

A Comparison of the Harkin and Ganske Records
ISSUE: Harkin Farm Bill
Wrote Farm Bill Providing Farm Safety Net, Helping Rural America. Harkin successfully passed a bipartisan farm bill that restored the farm safety net, increased conservation, strengthened rural communities and included the first-ever energy title to promote bioenergy production such as ethanol. President Bush said, “I signed a good farm bill. It’s good for the American farmer and good for the country.” [Associated Press, 6/7/02] Played Politics and Voted Against Farm Bill, Said it “Fails Iowa.” Ganske played politics and voted against Harkin’s farm bill, saying it “fails Iowa” – despite a recent FAPRI study showing Iowa would receive the most benefits. According to Reuters, Ganske and Republicans argued and voted against the bill “to pick up seats in Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota.” [Associated Press, 5/6/02; 5/01/02; vote #123, 5/2/02; Reuters, 5/2/02]
ISSUE: Broadband
Wrote Bill Investing $2 Billion in Rural Broadband. In 2002, Harkin wrote and president Bush signed a farm bill that invested in rural broadband / high-speed internet access. The farm bill provides $100 million in low-interest loans over the next 6 years to encourage providers to invest in rural broadband. According to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, “The loans are expected to generate as much as $2 billion in investment. [Telegraph Herald, 6/2/02] Repeatedly Voted for Anti-Rural Broadband Bill. Ganske repeatedly voted for the anti-rural Tauzin-Dingell broadband deregulation bill. In a letter to Ganske, the Iowa Utilities Board said, “The bill would not stimulate or assure deployment of advanced services in rural areas. Deregulating data service does nothing to bring those services to smaller markets and to rural areas.” [Letter to Ganske from the Iowa Utilities Board, 4/23/01; committee vote, 5/9/01; vote #45, 2/27/02]
ISSUE: Renewable Energy
Created First-Ever Energy Title in Farm Bill. Harkin’s farm bill included a first-ever energy title providing $405 million in energy program promoting farm-based renewable energy. Also mandates federal agencies to give preference to purchasing bio-based products. [S.1731, vote #103, 5/8/02] Ganske Repeatedly Voted Against Increasing Renewable Energy. Ganske voted for the House farm bill that did not include an energy title and against Harkin’s conference bill that did contain a separate energy title. In March 2002, Ganske voted for a Budget that cut investment in renewable energy across-the-board. [vote #123, 5/2/02; vote #371, 10/5/01; vote #79, 3/20/02]
ISSUE: Conservation
Wrote Farm Bill With 80% Increase in Conservation. Harkin’s farm bill includes an 80% increase in conservation funding over the previous bill. The bill will provide $2 billion for Harkin’s Conservation Security Program , which is a new voluntary program for working agricultural lands. [vote #103, 5/8/02] Consistently Opposes Conservation. Ganske has consistently opposed conservation. He voted against a farm bill that included an 80 % increase in conservation. He also voted for the 2001 Budget Resolution which eliminated several conservation programs, including the Wetlands Reserve Program. [vote #70, 3/28/01; vote #371, 10/5/01]
ISSUE: Rural Development
Wrote Farm Bill to Strengthen Rural Communities. In 2002, Harkin wrote a farm bill signed into law by President Bush to strengthen rural communities by providing an additional $1 billion for equity capital programs, water and sewer projects, and providing rural broadband access and strengthening value-added enterprises. [S.1731, vote #103, 5/8/02] Voted Against Farm Bill, Against Funds for Rural Communities. In 2002, Ganske voted against the farm bill signed by President Bush that provides $1 billion for equity capital programs, water and sewer projects, and providing rural broadband access and strengthening value-added enterprises. [vote #123, 5/2/02]


Harkin tromps through field, invites Ganske to hunt
Harkin says close-to-home issues will decide election
Farmers Union Endorses Harkin
Harkin Could Reap Benefits From Farm Bureau Nod in Iowa Senate Race

For more campaign news, click here.

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Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD)

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