Ernst Visits O’Brien County Farm

Primghar, Iowa (O’Brien County Bell-Times-Courier) — Senator Joni Ernst made stops in Emmet, O’Brien and Greene Counties¬† this past Saturday, August 31. She met at the farm of Kelly Nieuwenhuis, south of Primghar in O’Brien County for about an hour. The private visit appeared to be about farm facts of life for Iowa farmers and the current market conditions.

Nieuwenhuis has farmed for 34 years. Throughout his career he has participated in organizations dedicated to the benefit of corn as more than a product, but also as a raw material. One such seat was as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Ethanol Committee. During that tenure he also sat on the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program Board in 2016, which appears to have been a project of former Governor Terry Branstad. Currently and is a Director on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, representing District 1. In that role he serves as vice chair of the Iowa Corn Industrial Usage and U.S. Production Committee. He also currently serves as vice president of Siouxland Energy Cooperative, the ethanol production plant near Sioux Center. Nieuwenhuis’ experience makes him an appropriate person for Senator Ernst to reach out to for the current condition of the farm, particularly corn.

The conversation started around Nieuwenhuis voicing his preference for subsidies, like USDA payments to fade away in favor of market based prices. He recounted how people who have looked up payments have addressed him for taking the action. He explained that those payments do nothing more than help make the payments. He says, “Ethanol is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my farming career.” He explains to Ernst how that changed his farm economics from “nothing left” after paying the bills to being able to upgrade equipment.

For more on this story, visit our news partner, the O’Brien County Bell-Times-Courier.

Story and photo courtesy of our news partner, the O’Brien County Bell-Times-Courier

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