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March 1, 2002
President Discusses Agriculture in Iowa Speech
Excerpts from President's Speech in Iowa
The Printer, Inc.
Des Moines, Iowa
10:45 A.M. CST
...And we need a good farm bill to help with jobs. And I'm looking forward to working with Congress to get a good farm bill, one that recognizes a couple of things. One, farming is an incredibly important part of our economy. It's a huge industry in America. And the more vibrant the farm economy is, the more vibrant our national economy will be.
Secondly, we've got to think about value-added processing when it comes to agriculture. I believe in ethanol. I believe ethanol is good for the quality of the air, I believe ethanol is important for the agricultural sector of our economy. I think it makes sense. And we've got to explore additional ways. (Applause.) We've got to have a farm bill that provides a safety net, but doesn't encourage over-production.
And at the same time, we must open up markets for Iowa corn growers and soybean growers. When I was in China, I spent a lot of time talking to the Chinese leadership saying, buy those Iowa soybeans. You said you would do so. Open your markets. Because the more markets are open around the world for food products, the more likely it is American farmers, who happen to be the best at growing food in the world are going to be able to sell their products. We ought to be feeding the world because we're the best at growing food. And so I want a good farm bill, and I expect to get one here pretty quick. And I look forward to signing it.