2016 Presidential Candidates: Agriculture

America’s variety of food and beverages is as diverse as our population itself. Agricultural and nutritional policies should promote affordable food and beverages that recognize an individual’s right to make his or her own choices.




Hillary Clinton (D)

"Raising agricultural production and profitability for family farms. A strong agricultural economy remains a critical cornerstone of a vibrant rural economy. Farmers and ranchers supply food for America's dinner tables, invest in farm machinery and supplies, and provide domestic energy resources that fuel small businesses. The agriculture economy also drives America's larger economic success—accounting for about $800 billion in economic activity each year and supporting one out of every eleven jobs in the country. To ensure that America's farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to succeed Clinton will:

  • Support the next generation of farmers by doubling funding for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program to provide education, mentoring, and technical assistance to aspiring farmers and ranchers. Clinton will also fight to enact her New College Compact to tackle student debt. A National Young Farmers Coalition survey found that 30 percent of respondents said that student loans delayed or prevented them from farming.

  • Build a strong local and regional food system by doubling funding for the Farmers Market Promotion Program and the Local Food Promotion Program to expand food hubs, farmers markets, SNAP recipients' access to fresh food, and to encourage direct sales to local schools, hospitals, retailers and wholesalers. Clinton's focus on this issue stems from the “Farm-to-Fork” initiative she promoted in New York as Senator.

  • Provide a focused safety net for farmers and ranchers by continuing to make progress in targeting federal resources in commodity payment, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs to support family operations that truly need them in challenging times, like when weather-related disasters devastate whole areas of the country.

  • Fight for comprehensive immigration reform because America's immigrants and migrant workers play a critical role in developing and supporting America's agricultural economy." (Clinton, 2016)

IMMIGRATION: "“A lot of the people who are talking so dramatically about the immigration system should spend some time with some farmers who are looking for people to do the hard work to harvest their crops or milk their cows or pick their oranges." (Clinton, 2015)

GMOs: "I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record that you say, and I agree, scientifically provable, and continue to try to make the case to those that are skeptical that they may not know what they're eating already because the question of genetically modified food, or hybrids, has gone on for many many years.  And there is again a big gap between what the facts are and what perceptions are. Now you talk about drought resistant seeds...by definition they have been engineered to be drought resistant and that's the beauty of them...Genetically modified sounds frankenstein-ish.  Drought resistant sounds really something you'd want.  So how do you create a different vocabulary to talk about what it is you're trying to help people do." (Clinton, 2014)



Donald Trump (R)

ETHANOL/BIOFUEL: “agriculture is not about food — it is about national security,” (Trump, 2016)
ETHANOL/BIOFUEL: "“I will encourage Congress to be cautious in attempting to change any part of the RFS,” said Trump. “Energy independence is a requirement if America is to become great again... As president, I would encourage regulators to end restrictions that keep higher blends of ethanol and biofuel from being sold. We are with you, folks. We’ve been with you since day one."  (Trump, 2016)

"You're getting hit here, but other places are getting hit. Land is a commodity to a certain extent and seems to tie in well with other commodity prices. It could very well be with what's happening with the dollar -- not so much what's going up with the dollar -- and other currencies that are being artificially lowered by their governments to hurt the United States in order to take business from the United States. That's having a big effect on Iowa land, there's no question about it." (Trump, 2015)

FOOD STAMPS:  "The food stamp program was originally created as temporary assistance for families with momentary times of need. And it shouldn't be needed often. Thankfully, 96 percent of America's poor parents say their children never suffer even a day of hunger. But when half of food stamp recipients have been on the dole for nearly a decade, something is clearly wrong, and some of it has to do with fraud.  The really infuriating thing is that the Obama administration doesn't seem to care about how taxpayers are being shaken down by this outrageously mismanaged government program.  The blatant waste of taxpayers' dollars doesn't bother Obama, because it's all part of his broader nanny-state agenda. Perhaps that's why his administration doesn't give a rip about policing fraud or administering responsible oversight-he's buying votes." (Trump. 2011, Trump, D.  (2011) Time to Get Tough. Regnery.)



Gary Johnson (L)

GMO LABELING: “I agree with it” “Government needs to label my food or I can’t eat it, otherwise I eat poison." (Johnson, 2015)