Candidates outline their ag platforms

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The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has released the results of its presidential election questionnaire completed by Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.

In the Q&A document, both candidates responded to AFBF's inquiries about Farm Bill implementation, renewable fuels, climate change and death taxes, among other issues.

In the survey, McCain said expanding international trade would be a central focus of his agricultural policy. He said upholding current trade commitments, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, while working toward ratification of pending agreements with Colombia and South Korea, would be a priority. McCain also supports Trade Promotion Authority.

Obama took the opportunity to discuss his commitment to renewable fuels. He said he has set a goal of having 60 billion gallons of U.S. fuel come from biofuels by 2022. When asked about the Farm Bill, Obama said it was important to implement the 2008 bill as passed by Congress. McCain, who did not support the bill, instead focused his answers on expanding foreign markets and reforming the crop insurance program.

According to the survey, both candidates support creating a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. McCain goes a step further by saying he would exempt farmers from greenhouse gas caps.

Both candidates pledge to cut the estate tax, with McCain promising a lower tax rate and higher estate value exemption (15 percent and $10 million) than Obama (45 percent and $7 million).

Every four years, AFBF's member newspaper poses questions to the presidential candidates and the result is an exclusive glimpse at what they promise to do for the nation's farmers and ranchers. "The fact that the candidates take the time to do this during the height of the campaign season is a huge nod to how involved and influential farmers and ranchers are in policy, politics and in their own communities. It also shows how important rural votes are to both candidates, especially this year," said Lynne Finnerty, FBNews editor.

More information from the AFBF presidential Q&A can be found in the Sept. 22 edition of FBNews.

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

 



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