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Farmers debate election impacts on ag

As the politicians and  pundits sort out  the results of Tuesday’s mid-term elections, farmers have begun to provide their own take on the historic balloting in which Republicans are expected to win at least 60 more U.S. House seats and erase the Democratic majority, as well as gain ground in the Senate.

The early views expressed in an forum suggest that farmers feel the results bode well for the country as a whole, and indirectly for agriculture.

That mood was reflected in the words of one farmer: “I don't want an election that is good for ag, I want an election that is good for the country. We need to see past our own little world and our own selfish special interest. In the long run, an election good for the country is good for all of us as individuals.”

Nearly 60% of respondents in an poll say the election will be good for agriculture.

Another farmer sees the rebalancing of Congress as a positive for agriculture:  “Gridlock in Congress is probably best at this point for ag. Existing direct payment, subsidies and other government  programs, and ag tax breaks such as fast depreciation, more than likely will continue.”

There was concern expressed about the loss of leaders who had stood up for issues important to agriculture, including Wisconsin’s Democratic Senator  Russ Feingold. “[He was] one of the few independent thinkers the Senate had,” said one farmer.

The election theme of budgetary controls should be beneficial to rural America and family farmers, one farmer argues:  “I'm thinking that Washington should have gotten the message loud and clear that people are concerned about our country's spending and debt problem.  I think that translates into cuts all over, including on Ag, which if done right could actually be good for small family farmers and rural communities."

Join the discussion in the Ag Forum.

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