SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Touring an egg production facility today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats said the animal agriculture industry is an important part of the state’s economy and “will have my strongest support as governor.”
Noting the Humane Society of the United States recently attacked the state’s egg farmers, Vander Plaats said he also is concerned about pending federal meat safety regulations that could drive many Iowa firms that produce meat products out of business.
While touring a Center Fresh Egg facility, Vander Plaats said, “Iowa egg farmers produce 15 billion eggs a year. They’re good citizens who truly can and do feed the world. They produce the highest protein source at the lowest cost – and they do it by providing quality care to their livestock. They’re important to Iowa’s economy and our well-being and, as governor, I’ll stand up and defend them from those who want to drive the livestock industry off-shore or destroy it altogether.”
Vander Plaats noted that the economic development strategy he released last week also included an emphasis on the agriculture sector. Vander Plaats said he would work with commodity groups and other stakeholders to identify emerging trends in agricultural markets and set a goal of developing five new markets each year.
“It’s not enough for us to grow corn and soybeans and export those crops to other countries for them to handle the next step in food production. We need to add value to our agriculture products here because that gives a real boost to our economy,” Vander Plaats said. “Egg production is one example where our feed grains are converted to protein – and more economic activity for communities like Sioux Center.”
Noting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing new meat testing requirements to keep bacteria out of food products, Vander Plaats said, “The new rules are well-intended but they’re going to put people out of business all across this state. There has to be a better way to reach that objective without bankrupting small businesses and tossing Iowans out of work.”
He continued, “Once again, our current governor is missing in action when small businesses, working Iowans and communities across this state need him the most. If this happened on my watch, I guarantee you that the people in Washington would be hearing from me loud and clear.”
# # # #