The Iowa environment can throw a lot at political candidates. They are expected to navigate heat waves and blizzards, not to mention occasional flooding and severe weather like tornadoes. However, those conditions may seem easy to navigate when compared to the current situation. Traditional campaigning has been turned on its head during the COVID-19 crisis. Some candidates, like U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, are not allowing comprehensive social distancing guidelines to get in the way of connecting with constituents across the state.
This week Senator Ernst will be joined by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig to participate in a live virtual tour of Reicks View Farms, a multi-generational family farming operation located in Lawler Iowa. The live stream will serve as an interactive conversation and update on agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ernst, who is up for reelection this fall, has already held numerous virtual Tele-Town halls, Facebook Live events, and digital media to remain accessible during this time period. The tour is a way for Senator Ernst to directly engage with Iowa’s agricultural community while continuing to adhere to the Governor’s strict social distancing guidelines.
Agriculture will be an important issue this year, perhaps more than ever before. According to the Iowa Farm Bureau, agriculture and its related industries create one out of every five jobs in the state, and accounts for 1/3 of the money supporting Iowa’s economy. However, the viral outbreak and the economic turmoil that resulted has created considerable hurdles for this sector, Iowa’s biofuels sector has been shaken with plants idling, and an explosion of positive cases have threatened Iowa’s packing facilities.
Over the weekend, Senator Chuck Grassley and Secretary Naig leveraged a more traditional vehicle for reaching Iowans and authored a guest opinion highlighting the challenges facing farmers today and what our elected leaders are doing to support ag at this time.
To participate in the live stream, you can go to Senator Ernst or Secretary Naig’s Facebook pages at 1:00 PM CDT Wednesday, April 22.