The Gazette: Scott Henry: Iowa's farmers rely on North American trade

Scott Henry: Iowa's farmers rely on North American trade
The Gazette
By Scott Henry
Mar. 21, 2019

Exactly one year ago, several of my agriculture industry colleagues traveled to Montreal to ensure U.S. farmers and ranchers were at the table during a critical round of NAFTA trade negotiations.

Today, that agreement, now called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA, is ready to be considered by Congress. It couldn’t come at a more important time for farmers and small businesses in Iowa. From my perspective, as a proud member of a fourth-generation Central Iowa farm family, there isn’t a more important issue Congress will discuss this year.

Iowa agriculture has a rich heritage and my family has always been proud to be a small part of this large effort. Part of that heritage involves understanding how critical it is for farmers have open and free access to international markets like Mexico and Canada. On my farm in Nevada, we produce commercial corn and soybeans. A good portion of our corn or its by-products not consumed by ethanol, is shipped by rail to Mexico.

Iowa is the nation’s leader in pork, corn and eggs. We also rank second in the nation for soybeans, and seventh in beef production. Of those and many other grown-in-Iowa products exported to the world, more than 45 percent go to our neighbors in Canada and Mexico.

Trade also supports 121,000 Iowa jobs that depend on open markets, strong contacts and reliable contracts with consumer and buyers. That’s why its so important we approve the USMCA.

Iowa agriculture depends on strong relationships with Canada and Mexico.

Scott Henry operates LongView Farms in Nevada, Iowa.

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