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Trump Returns to Iowa Promising Farming Victories Amid 2024 Campaign

Pro-Farmer Trump Takes on DeSantis Over Ethanol in 2024 Caucus Bid


A mere four years ago, Donald Trump positioned himself as the redeemer of farmers who were grappling with diminishing returns and international trade skirmishes. Today, he returns to the same region armed with a presidential tenure under his belt and harboring anticipated success in the upcoming Iowa 2024 caucuses.

Trump, seeking to draw Iowa’s farming community into his fold, highlighted his achievements in agriculture. Concurrently, he critiqued his main Republican opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for perceived inefficacy and negligence in the matter of ethanol production.

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‘No president can hold a candle to my work with farmers,’ Trump asserted to the gathered crowd who hailed from both Iowa and Nebraska.

‘As the most farmers’ friendly president in history,’ he continued, ‘I call upon you to consider that life under DeSantis would spell disaster for Iowa’s economy.’ Unlocking another box of verbal ammunition, Trump leveled criticisms against DeSantis’s stance on ethanol.


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‘Every Iowan should understand that Ron DeSantis holds a distinctive distaste towards both Iowa’s ethanol industry and ethanol as a whole,’ Trump claimed, insinuating that politicians commonly return to their initial beliefs. DeSantis’s representative countered these comments, using them as an example of Trump’s dwindling popularity in Iowa and accusing him of misrepresenting the Florida governor’s track record.

DeSantis’s press secretary, Bryan Griffin, responded with conviction. ‘Once president, Ron DeSantis will marshal every resource at his disposal to fling open new markets for our farmers,’ Griffin declared. ‘He has the proven seaworthy stance needed to confront the Chinese Communist Party and safeguard America’s interests, along with our farmers and laborers.’

Notwithstanding, the former president, during his third visit to Iowa since announcing his bid for 2024, appears to be the uncontested leader within GOP circles – a status that holds both at the regional level, in the inaugural caucus state, and on the national stage.

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As the summer campaign season chugs along, his enthusiastic followers braved the pouring rain hours ahead of his speech, swaddled in raincoats and sheltering under umbrellas.

Once admitted into the event, several attendees were presented with green caps bearing the ‘Farmers for Trump’ logo. A tag revealed these were produced in Bangladesh. Questions directed to the Trump campaign regarding the origin of these hats went unanswered.

This occasion also marked the formal start of the ‘Farmers for Trump’ coalition. Stalwarts in the state like Reps. Mike Sexton, Heather Hora, and Derek Wulf, were appointed as co-chairs of this group in Iowa. This agricultural-focused message resonated with many attendees, especially those with farming backgrounds.

‘We trust Trump to roll up his sleeves and get done what is needed,’ opined Rhonda White, a Henderson resident and soybean plant worker in Council Bluffs. ‘That includes safeguarding our farmers, conservation of our lands, and upholding our incomes. Absolutely.’

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Interestingly, the green light for the year-long sale of E15, a gasoline-ethanol blend, came during Trump’s presidency. This was received as a significant win for Iowa’s leading figures.

However, his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also permitted several oil refineries to refrain from mixing ethanol and biodiesel into their fuels. This triggered a dip in demand, leading ultimately to the shutdown of 15 ethanol factories, one of which was based in Iowa.

The backlash was severe, with an indignant response from key industry players summed up as ‘Iowa enraged.’

The erstwhile president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association expressed this decision as a ‘bitter insult,’ and a CEO of an ethanol plant cautioned that a vote for Trump in 2020 might equate to ‘electing to sever their own financial wellbeing.’

‘It felt like a boom or bust scenario,’ shared Kelly Nieuwenhuis, an Iowa farmer who chairs the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. ‘Certainly, the waivers granted were unhelpful for the biofuels sector.’ Trump’s EPA administration, in his view, ‘seemed unsupportive of biofuels.’

Biden’s EPA, according to Nieuwenhuis, has shown inconsistent support for Iowa’s farm leaders. Michael Regan, the current head of the EPA, is considered decent, but the ethanol and biofuels industry ‘continues to struggle with uneven playing conditions.’

Nieuwenhuis remained non-committal on whether he would support subsidies for the ethanol industry. During congressional tenure, he had backed removing the crucial Renewable Fuel Standard for biofuels blending.

‘I think the crux of the matter is, there are inherent market problems with some of these programs,’ said DeSantis.

‘However,’ DeSantis took a pause to make room for the complexities, ‘a significant portion of our farmers are enmeshed in these market dynamics. They crave stability. They need defined pathways.’

It’s essential to remember, enduring all these political deliberations and decisions, are real people with livelihoods at stake. The outcomes of these subsequent elections and political maneuverings will have a tangible impact on the farmers who wait in anticipation.

In the final analysis, what remains to be seen is how successes of past accomplishments will interact with future promises.

Only time will reveal whether the pleas for stability and market reforms will be heard and acted upon. Until then, the discussions around ethanol, farming, and the economy will remain worthy of our attention.


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