Both Spence and Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon spoke to Farm Bureau members from across the state at a forum in Jefferson City today. Spence told them that his business background will translate well in handling agricultural issues.
“If you want an advocate to stand up to the (Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources) and the (Environmental Protection Agency) and all the crazy regulations that come out of DC by bureaucrats who have no idea what’s going on in the real world, I’ve got your back," Spence said.
Nixon also delivered an anti-Washington sermon, telling Farm Bureau members that he opposed the president's proposal to regulate how much work teenagers can do on family farms.
“Under the Obama Administration’s rule, a 15-year-old couldn’t help bale hay on his grandfather’s farm…that doesn’t make any sense," Nixon said. "Here in Missouri we encourage teens to learn the ways of the family farm…it’s a proud tradition, it’s who we are.”
Nixon also told them that he has sought relief for drought-plagued farmers, hawked Missouri farm products around the world, and stood up to the Army Corps of Engineers and to Missouri River states whose leaders put recreation ahead of flood control. But it was Spence who won the Farm Bureau’s endorsement. He said that he would consult them on whom he should pick for the state’s Agriculture Director, stating that he would, "pick somebody that has had more than two horses." Nixon, meanwhile, has been endorsed by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and the Missouri Soybean Association.
Also, the Farm Bureau’s regional political action committees endorsed Republican nominee Todd Akin for U.S. Senate over Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. She described herself as a moderate who opposed her party’s positions on a number of key issues, including the Cap and Trade energy bill and the Keystone Pipeline. She also seemed to indicate ahead of time that she knew she wouldn’t get the Farm Bureau’s endorsement.
“I kinda wish that you guys could take the records and mark out the names at the top (of) the parties and make the call, (be)cause then I’d get the call based on my record," McCaskill said. "And I will tell you the other thing, I’m gonna win this race, and it won’t make any difference whether you endorse me or not, because I’m still gonna be there fighting for you. It won't make one bit of difference to me -- it didn't the last time and it won't this time."
McCaskill also criticized Akin for blocking the Farm Bill in Congress, which she supports. But Akin defended his stance, saying the Farm Bill would have poured too much money into food stamps.
“(An) 80 percent increase -- not just food stamp, but all those different entitlement programs, and that’s what bothers me about it," Akin said. "A couple of years back it was 60 percent, (and) that bothered me...70 percent’s worse, 80 percent’s worse.”
Akin said he supports most of the farm portion of the Farm Bill and that perhaps it should be spun off into a separate bill. Farm Bureau members liked what they heard and gave Akin their endorsement.