In concert with the opening of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) has announced their endorsement of Barack Obama for President of the United States.
This marks the first endorsement by a major biofuels trade association in the 2008 US presidential campaign, and only the second time in the ACGA’s twenty-one year history that they have ever endorsed any presidential candidate.
The American Corn Growers Association represents 14,000 members in 35 states. Keith Bolin ACGA president and a corn and hog farmer in Obama’s home state of Illinois issued a simultaneously glowing endorsement of Obama and blistering critique of McCain.
Major points from his endorsement:
- Obama clearly supports the expansion of renewable energy such as advanced ethanol, biodiesel and wind generated electricity, whereas McCain has “perhaps the single most negative record of any Senator” when voting on issues of agriculture and ethanol.
- Senator Obama supported the recently passed “Farm Bill,” whereas “McCain has opposed every farm bill that has come before Congress for more than a decade.”
Keith Bolin’s full endorsement:
“We have closely studied the on-line agricultural and rural policy statements of the two candidates and their voting records. Following a meeting with the Obama campaign at our board conference in Omaha last week, the decision was clear to us. ACGA endorses and supports the election of Senator Obama for President of the United States.”
“At this time of great opportunity to rebuild not only rural America, but all America through an aggressive national commitment to renewable energy of all kinds, the voting record and policy statements of Senator Obama and Senator McCain indicate very contrasting differences.”
“While John McCain is a great man and a true hero, he has built a very pronounced and consistent record on agriculture and ethanol during his twenty-two years as a U.S. Senator, and it is perhaps the single most negative record of any Senator.”
“When compared to Senator Obama, who supports the expansion of renewable energy such as advanced ethanol, biodiesel and wind generated electricity, our decision was obvious.”
“ACGA has a long public record of supporting not only corn ethanol, but also advanced ethanol from biomass and other non-food and feed crops. We see corn ethanol as the necessary initial building block for a vast expansion of renewable energy production of all kinds, benefiting America as a whole by moving towards energy independence. ACGA is also the leading national farm organization for the promotion and development of wind energy. Therefore, we take this year’s election and our endorsement of Senator Obama very seriously.”
“Senator Obama also supported the recently passed Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 — or as it is commonly called, the farm bill.”
“Farmers and rural voters understand the importance of farm bills. These packages not only address agriculture and farms, but cover the full dynamic scope of issues vital to rural America: conservation, trade, rural development, research, nutrition, rural credit, and more. In fact, the new farm bill spends over 80 percent of its resources on non-farm programs and rightfully does not even have ‘farm’ in its title.”
“So it is not lost on rural Americans that Senator McCain has opposed every farm bill that has come before Congress for more than a decade. It did not matter if the farm bills were written under Republicans or Democrats. It did not matter if the farm bill came at a time when crop prices were high or low, reflected policies that were ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative,’ or stressed conservation, rural development, trade, or research. Senator McCain opposed them all and publically demanded that President Bush veto this year’s farm bill.”
“I can say unequivocally as an Illinois farmer that Senator Obama has exactly the same amount of experience in terms of time served in the Illinois Legislature and in the U.S. Congress as another Illinois lawyer who was elected President just as the nation was coming apart at the seams – Abraham Lincoln. Senator Obama is ready to lead America and the American Corn Growers wholeheartedly endorse him for President of the United States of America.”
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Image Credit: American Corn Growers Association