Farmers and environmentalists are asking legislators to include them in the plans to spend money on economic development. Gary Hoskey, is president of the Iowa Farmers Union, and says any major fund the legislature approves for business and industry should also include investments in agriculture.He says it looks like we’ve decided that we can no longer depend on family farmers in the state and we’re looking to something that’s unknown and untried and going to be a gamble. The Iowa Farmers Union is part of “Rural Advocacy 2003,” a croup that wants the legislature to set aside at least 20 percent of the “Iowa Values Fund” for independent specialty food producers. Hoskey, a farmer from Montour, says those who benefit from the state fund should have to stay in Iowa for a certain amount of time.He says he disagrees to any giving of money to people who won’t commit to Iowa. Hoskey says the state needs to take care of those at home before going after outside businesses. He says the people here built our rural communities, towns and the state, and he says they want to get part of the economic development funding. Rural Advocacy 2003 also wants the legislature to set aside nearly 30-million dollars more a year for conservation programs.
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