The Iowa Farm Bureau’s political action committee has designated Iowa candidates up and down the ballot as “Friends of Agriculture.” The Farm Bureau has endorsed Democrat Senator Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Ag Committee. Harkin’s republican opponent, Greg Ganske, complains that he has a better voting record on farm issues, but the Farm Bureau cited Harkin for his “leadership” in drafting the new Farm Bill, which Ganske voted against. Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Gross won the Farm Bureau endorsement, a blow to Democrat incumbent Tom Vilsack who got a boost in 1998 when he got the nod from the Farm Bureau along with former farm broadcaster Jim Lightfoot. Vilsack says this year’s endorsement is no surprise as Gross has “lobbied on behalf of the Farm Bureau and many of its influential members.” The Farm Bureau is also backing three Republican incumbent Congressman — Jim Nussle, Jim Leach and Tom Latham, as well as Republican Steve King, who’s seeking western Iowa’s Congressional seat. Both Democrat Congressman Leonard Boswell and his Republican challenger, Stan Thompson, were endorsed by the Farm Bureau.