Governor Terry Branstad used a speech at the Iowa State Fair this afternoon to criticize “unwarranted attacks” on Iowa agricultural practices and products.
“I’m really proud as governor to have stood up for and fought for the interests of agriculture,” Branstad said.
Branstad blasted a California law which sets minimum dimensions for the cages in which laying hens are kept and bans the sale of eggs from states, like Iowa, where producers use smaller hen cages.
“We cannot let the State of California with its wacky ideas prevent Iowa farmers from being able to compete,” Branstad said, to applause from the crowd gathered at The Des Moines Register’s Soapbox on the state fairgrounds.
Iowa’s attorney general has joined officials in six other agricultural states who have filed a lawsuit challenging that California law. Branstad also brought up the 2012 controversy over “lean, finely-textured beef” which led to the closure of a plant in Waterloo that processed beef trimmings. Due to higher beef prices, the product is making a comeback. During his speech earlier this afternoon, Branstad repeated his contention that the recent decline in corn prices is because the so-called Renewable Fuels Standard is in limbo and may be reduced.
“And so we’ve tried to do everything we can to rally on a bipartisan basis everybody to support this important industry which means so much to the state of Iowa in terms of reducing our dependency on foreign oil, creating jobs and growing the Iowa economy and helping increase farm income,” Branstad said, to applause.
Branstad also got some hoots and applause from the crowd after he revealed that for lunch he had an “Iowa chop” at the Pork Producers Tent on the fairgrounds.