Pawlenty tells farmers he supports agriculture, ethanol

Gov. Tim Pawlenty came out strongly in favor of agriculture during a speech Thursday. Not a big surprise, because he was talking to farmers at the Farmfest event near Redwood Falls.

He told the crowd that the economy won’t be strong without strong agricultural roots, but there are challenges, such as falling hog and dairy prices, said the Marshall Independent. And he said Minnesota farmers need to aggressively market their products around the world.

And the Star Tribune noted that he defended ethanol and praised wind energy at the farm event:

He defended corn-based ethanol, a fuel promoted and subsidized by the state. While it has been criticized elsewhere for driving up food prices, corn ethanol production has plenty of support in rural areas.

“It’s not perfect,” Pawlenty acknowledged, and said more research should be done on other sources of ethanol.

And the Strib said he took time to blast subsidized health care and other social services.

Noting that government programs have helped nurture wind and ethanol businesses in rural Minnesota, Pawlenty told the farmers that the rising cost of public health care and social welfare programs come at the expense of funding programs that could help the farm economy.

The Marshall paper also mentioned that:

If the state continues to increase the human services or welfare portion of the budget, it will force an increase in taxes, create an uncompetitive environment for agribusiness and slow any expansion or production of jobs, Pawlenty said.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/07/2009 - 01:14 pm.

    The corn/ethanol industry has a business model that simply does not work without the subsidy from government.

    The external costs alone, do not make this product a viable fuel alternative except as perhaps a bridge to other more efficient forms of bio-fuels.

    It is simply another subsidy to the agribusiness industry. Perhaps “socialism” is in the eye of the beholder, or more directly, the industry or constituency which benefits from it.

  2. Submitted by dan buechler on 08/08/2009 - 01:20 pm.

    Let us see cash for clunkers is a waste even though the new vehicle gets at least 5 and very often 10mpg better. But ehanol is worthy of subsidy? Iowa here we come I’m gonna eat corn and porkchops, and say John Deere is one of the best companies around. I also heard that new hamshirwe maple syrup is tasty too bad the maples are dying off and are only in canada now. Must be some deem-o-cratic conspiracy. I ain’t got time fer science I beeleeve in conspiracys.

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/08/2009 - 04:44 pm.

    The price of corn has shot up because of the demand for ethanol production. In light of that, are subsidies necessary, or should they be used instead to help farmers decide to plant a wider variety of veggies and fruits?

    Brazil uses sugar cane to produce ethanol. Might the U.S. use sugar beets and give those farmers a break in the form of increased sales rather than subsidies? (Or do they already do this?)

  4. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/08/2009 - 09:46 pm.

    We can import Brazilian sugar/ethanol cheaper that we can produce our own corn/ethanol.

    The same could be said for Ag products rice and sugar too.

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