Republican candidate Terry Branstad says if he’s reelected as the state’s governor, he’ll seek “responsible” state regulation of Iowa’s farmers.

“How can we provide a supportive environment and one that respects our responsibility to protect the environment, but also respects the fact that we have people in the industry who need to be given correct and accurate information and be able to rely on what they’re told by the regulators,” Branstad said during a news conference at the Farm Progress Show in Boone.

Earlier this week, Branstad said he’d been on track to put controversial farm operator Jack DeCoster “out of business” at the end of his 16-year tenure as governor and Branstad called DeCoster a “bad egg” who was tarnishing the reputation of an entire industry with the problems at his chicken confinements. But during yesterday’s event Branstad said nothing about how the state might bar DeCoster from operating in Iowa.

Governor Chet Culver’s campaign blasted Branstad’s call for streamlining regulations and permit processes, saying “removing oversight” during the egg recall is unwise. Branstad said the state should aim to double ag production in Iowa by 2050 to help feed the world. Branstad grew up on a farm in north central Iowa and currently lives in a rural area near Boone where some of the surrounding land is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.

Reporting at the Farm Progress Show by Tom Steever of The Brownfield Network; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson.