Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is pulling in a wide range of advisors representing rural America to help surge his candidacy forward. On Tuesday, he announced a list of more than 60 individuals from across the country ranging from influential farmers to state and national congressional members.
The new Agricultural Advisory Committee is being chaired by Charles Herbster, a rancher from Nebraska. Sam Clovis, national chief policy advisor for the Trump campaign and Iowa resident, has surrounded himself with a team to advance Trump’s agenda which has focused on rolling back excessive regulations and fairer trade.
“The members of my agricultural advisory committee represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities,” said Trump in a statement. “Many of these officials have been elected by their communities to solve the issues that impact our rural areas every day.”
The executive board members will convene on a regular basis.
Among the members of the committee include several governors including Terry Branstad of Iowa, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jack Dalryumple of North Dakota, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma as well as former governor of Nebraska Dave Heineman, former Texas governor and presidential nominee Rick Perry and Jim Gilmore who previously served as governor of Virginia.
Other notables to the list include Mike McCloskey, chief executive officer of Fair Oaks Farms; Marcus Rust, chief executive officer of Rose Acre Farms; Chuck Conner, chief executive officer of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and long-time undersecretary of agriculture during the George W. Bush administration; former secretary of agriculture John Block and several state secretary of agriculture members.
Current House members include Rep. Robert Aderholt (R., Ala.), Mike Conaway (R., Texas), Rodney Davis (R., Ill.) and Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.). Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) is also on the team.
The latest Farm Futures survey shows farmers prefer Republican Donald Trump to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Trump led Clinton 73% to 10% in the survey of 1,178 farmers conducted July 18-Aug. 3.
But one in six growers responding to the survey said they may not vote for either one. Survey respondents put "none of the above" in third place, with 7%. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 4% of the vote in the survey. Trump started the cycle with 20% of the farm vote, and by the Farm Futures March poll, he was the leader among Republicans with 29% support.
Here is the current list of advisory members, although this list is expected to continue to grow.
Charles Herbster – National Chairman of the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President
Sam Clovis - National Chief Policy Advisor for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President
Rebeckah Adcock -CropLife, Senior Director, Government Affairs
Robert Aderholt - Congressman from Alabama; Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture
Jay Armstrong - Kansas Wheat Commission; Chairman, Farm Foundation
Gary Black - Commissioner Agriculture, Georgia
John Block - Former Sec. of USDA
Mike Brandenburg - State Legislator, North Dakota
Terry Branstad – Governor of Iowa
Sam Brownback – Governor of Kansas
Chuck Conner – CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Mike Conaway – House Agriculture Chairman
Jack Dalrymple – Governor of North Dakota
Dennis Daugaard – Governor of South Dakota
Rodney Davis – Congressman from Illinois; House Agriculture committee and Subcommittee Chair of Bio Tech
Mary Fallin – Governor of Oklahoma
Eddie Fields – Senator, Oklahoma; Chair Senate Ag and Rural Development
Steve Foglesong - Former President National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Jim Gilmore - Former Governor Virginia; Chairman of Report on Terrorism and Agro-Terrorism
Bob Goodale - Former CEO of Harris Teeter
Bob Goodlatte - Congressman, Virginia; Former Chairman House Agriculture Committee
Mike Green – State Senator, Michigan; Appropriations Agriculture Chair; Senate Agriculture Committee Vice Chair
Helen Groves – Rancher; daughter of Robert Kleberg (King Ranch); Well known in TX/ranching world
Ron Heck – Iowa farmer and Past President of the American Soybean Assoc.
Dave Heineman – Former Gov. Nebraska
Hans Hunts – State Legislator, Wyoming; Wyoming House Ag Committee; Rancher
Cindy Hyde – Smith – Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Mississippi
Brent Jackson – State Senator, North Carolina
A.G. Kawamura – Former Sec. Food & Agriculture, California
John Kautz – California wine producer; CEO Ironstone Vineyards
Charlotte Kelly – Tennessee cotton grower along with her husband (14,000 acres) plus operating a cotton gin processing 30,000 plus bales and a leader in the cotton industry
Mark Killian – Commissioner of Agriculture, Arizona; Farmer and rancher AZ
Brian Klippenstein – Protect the Harvest
Tsosie Lewis – Former CEO of Navaho Nation's Agricultural Products Industries
Forrest Lucas – CEO Lucas Oil; Protect the Harvest
Mike McCloskey – CEO Fair Oaks Farms- one of largest dairies in U.S.
Beau McCoy – State Senator; Nebraska Nat. Chr. Council State Govts
Ted McKinney – Former Director of Global Corp. Affairs for Elanco Animal Health
Sid Miller – Commissioner of Agriculture, Texas
Jim Moseley – Former consultant on agriculture at EPA; Former Deputy Secretary of USDA
Brian Munzlinger - Chairman Missouri Senate Ag Committee
Casey Murdock – State Senator, Oklahoma
Tom Nassif – President Western Growers; Former Ambassador
Garry Niemeyer – Former President National Corn Growers
Bill Northey – Secretary of Ag, Iowa
Sonny Perdue – Former Gov. Georgia
Rick Perry – Former Gov. Texas
Ryan Quarles – Commissioner of Agriculture, Kentucky
Bruce Rastetter – Summit Ag Group of Alden, Iowa; Hosted first Republican Presidential debate
Jim Reese – Secretary of Agriculture for Gov. Mary Fallin of OK
Larry Rhoden – Senator South Dakota; House Majority Leader and Sen Majority Whip; Chair Senate Ag Committee
Pete Ricketts –Governor of Nebraska
Pat Roberts – U.S. Senator Kansas
Marcus Rust – CEO Rose Acre Farms- second largest egg producer in U.S.
Leslie Rutledge – Attorney General, Arkansas; Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorney General Agriculture Committee and is married to a soybean producer
David Spears – Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Dole Ag Advisor; Senior Vice President, Mid-Kansas Cooperative, Inc.
Dr. Mike Strain – Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana
Red Steagall – Official Cowboy Poet of Texas
Annette Sweeney – Former Iowa House Agriculture, Chair; Farmer; Agriculture Advocate
Kip Tom – CEO, Tom Farms LLC-Largest Agri-Business farm operator in Indiana; Operates farms in South America
Johnny Trotter – CEO of BarG- 125,000 feedlot operation and farms 10,0000 acres in TX
Steve Wellman – Former President of the American Soybean Association
Walt Whitcomb – Ag Commissioner, Maine
John Wilkinson - Chairman, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee Georgia State Senate