As voters prepare for the upcoming Iowa caucus, the state of the economy remains at the forefront of their minds.
Like the rest of the country, Iowa is facing high unemployment (currently 5.7 percent) and a stagnant economy. As the various Republican candidates for president pass through the state, almost all of them are addressing Iowa’s, and the nation’s, economic forecast.
However, the recession has not hit Iowa as hard as it has the rest of the country. In large part, this is due to the importance of agriculture in the state’s economy. According to one Des Moines farmer, “The finances of Iowa is pretty good right now, mainly because agriculture is pretty good right now. And that ripples through the economy, whether you’re farming or not, you’re spending money because the economy is good”
Given the importance of farming to Iowa’s economy, many Iowans are particularly worried about the impact of presidential politics in the state. As such, issues like ethanol and agricultural subsidies have taken on a much larger importance in recent months.
The Iowa caucus has also injected millions of dollars into the local economy as the various candidates spend on advertising, staffing, and other miscellaneous costs. While some individuals believe that this spending greatly benefits the local economy, others disagree. Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture recently stated, “I’ve seen studies that said [the Iowa caucus] is significant. I’ve seen other studies that in comparison to, you know, we have a 25 or 30 billion dollar agriculture economy. It’s not a huge proportion of the state economy, but we love having it here.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer