Trump looks to drum up support in rural America

Agricultural Advisory Council includes former and current governors and representatives as well as influential members in the farm community.

Jacqui Fatka, Policy editor

August 16, 2016

5 Min Read
Trump looks to drum up support in rural America

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

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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