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Branstad not family farm friendly

By Staff | Oct 29, 2010

To the editor:

Terry Branstad’s run for governor and the Farm Bureau’s endorsement of him create the need to review what the two of them have done to our state, particularly rural Iowa.

I hope readers will visit the Iowa Farmers Union website at iowafarmersunion.org and review documentation on issues that follow.

Around 1994, some people in Des Moines felt that we rural Iowans were hindering their growth. As a result Project 21 was initiated to address these issues, which was the idea of Steve Zumbach, Jack Taylor and Tom Gibson, general manager of Farm Bureau Financial Planning Services.

With the passage of HR 519, by the Iowa House of Representatives, the Project 21 directives were put in motion. Branstad had already put this same agenda into action with an improper Beginning Farmer Loan that constructed a confinement facility built by a North Carolina firm called Hog Slats. He later followed that up with $500,000 of taxpayer money to bring this same firm to Humboldt.If you don’t read anything else on the website, please read Hog Slats application for state money. You will understand what has happened to Iowa and what the intentions were from the start.

You will also read about the “Eastern Breeze” – eastern money that flowed to Jack DeCoster, Iowa Select’s Jeff Hansen and Bruce Rastetter of Heartland Pork.You will also note on a mortgage of Iowa Select that a whole page was devoted to Iowa Select’s involvement with Jack DeCoster.

You will also see a Jan. 21, 1995 Farm Bureau Spokesman which states that, “Farm Bureau will oppose efforts to restrict the number of animals any livestock producer can own.” It is interesting to note how they rail on property tax increases, when their own policies have helped the demise of independent hog producers and the enduring consequences of lost businesses, declining school enrollments and the inevitable loss of state and national congressional representation we face.

Thanks to Project 21, Terry Branstad, and the Farm Bureau, rural counties and towns are competing with one another to get gambling facilities to replace the businesses lost due to family farm hog producers being put out of business.

Iowa became great because of its people, not corporations funded by eastern money. Branstad and the Farm Bureau worked together and the result is a corporate-controlled hog industry, lost markets, pollution, divided neighborhoods, empty farmsteads and declining rural communities.

We don’t need any more.

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