If you ate today, filled up your gas tank, or got dressed – you have a farmer to thank. Last week we celebrated National Agriculture Week, and the whole country rightly spotlighted the farmers and ranchers who feed and fuel the world. But saying thank you is far from enough – the best way to show farmers our appreciation is to enact policies that support them.
Unfortunately, many heavy-handed regulations and out of touch policies in DC do just the opposite.
Just last week, the Biden Administration’s disastrous Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule took effect, subjecting 97 percent of Iowa land to federal regulation. That’s right, DC bureaucrats who have never stepped foot on a farm in their life want to tell Iowa farmers how to manage puddles and streams on land they’ve lived on and farmed for generations. Out of touch doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Anyone who has touched the ag sector knows farmers are the best stewards of their own land and the ultimate conservationists – no one cares more about preserving land for future generations than farmers themselves. That’s why, in addition to voting to block the Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule from moving forward, I introduced the bipartisan PRECISE Act. This legislation expands access to precision agriculture tools that are proven to increase overall outputs while drastically reducing environmental impacts. The contrast is clear – empower bureaucrats or empower farmers.
Additionally, President Biden’s recently released budget request calls to eliminate stepped-up basis, continuing this Administration’s sorry trend of trying to remove this tax provision that is critical to family farmers. 98 percent of farms in the United States are family owned and operated and, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 66 percent of mid-sized farms would have an increased tax liability if stepped-up basis were eliminated.
The importance of preserving stepped-up basis comes up consistently as I visit with farmers and small businesses throughout Iowa. While the Administration would have you think this is about increasing taxes on billionaires, it’s just the opposite. Ending stepped-up basis would not only raise taxes on most family farms, it would jeopardize their ability to pass down their operations to the next generation. In response, I helped introduce legislation to preserve stepped-up basis and signal our steadfast support for this key policy in the face of this Administration’s continued attempts to end it. Our family farmers and small businesses deserve certainty, not higher taxes, as they work to put food on our plates and clothes on our backs.
Iowa farmers embody the passion and grit it takes to feed and fuel the world. Following National Agriculture Week, our thanks can’t ring hollow, it must be matched with policies that account for the vast challenges facing our farmers every single day as they work to ensure we have a steady food and fuel supply. After all, food doesn’t grow at the grocery store.