Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that state officials need to remain vigilant in their defense of modern agriculture, but he believes there is room for farmers and citizens to co-exist. “We want to grow the economy and good jobs throughout the State of Iowa. We need to be careful about these outside groups that have little knowledge of agriculture leveling attacks against an important economic driver of our state’s economy,” Branstad said.
The Republican governor, who grew up on a farm in northern Iowa, was asked at his weekly news briefing about increasing reports of conflicts between Iowa hog farmers and suburban residents, and a push in Missouri for a state constitutional amendment allowing a “right to farm.” Branstad said he wasn’t familiar with the Missouri proposal, but he added that he is concerned about attacks on agriculture.
Branstad also cited attacks against genetically modified food and other modern agriculture, including the ethanol industry, which he said is opposed by the petroleum producing interests. “Iowa is an agricultural state and we see a threat to agriculture and I intend to defend it,” Branstad said. ” We want to work with agriculture but we also want to work with our citizens to makes sure that our methods of production are safe; that we protect the environment and quality of life for our citizens who live in rural Iowa as well.”
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