The last debate is done. Two weeks from now, Americans will head to the polls to decide who will serve the next four years as president.
This campaign season, “Farm Team” signs have popped up for federal and state campaigns. Rural rallies, complete with hay wagons, straw bales, one green tractor and another red tractor, are designed to emphasize a candidate’s appreciation for rural America.
National polls have this year’s presidential race locked into a virtual dead heat. Both camps are engaged in a duel of words to convince voters they are the best choice for America. With the tightening race, the rural vote could play a critical role in who is elected the next president of the United States.
Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local,” and each year farmers have a chance to shape the direction of farm policy though the ballot box.
While the national media have been focused on the big issues of the day -- national debt, the economy, jobs, taxes and entitlement programs -- there has been some coverage of agriculture issues.
To supplement that scant coverage, Lancaster Farming reported last month on a debate between two ag leaders representing the opposing presidential campaigns.
The story can be found here.
In addition, several national agricultural organizations have released position papers and questionnaires to give farmers a better understanding of the candidates’ agricultural policies.
Here are a few of the organizations that have posted position papers:
No matter what their leanings -- red or green in tractors, red or blue in politics -- farmers will have a say on the direction of national farm policy come Tuesday, Nov. 6.
--Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor