Seven Republicans confirmed for March Agriculture Summit

Alex Hanson

A total of seven potential Republican candidates for president have confirmed they will be attending the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit, set for March 7 in Des Moines.

Iowa entrepreneur and philanthropist Bruce Rastetter, who is also president of the Iowa Board of Regents, is organizing the event, which will take place at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Organizers confirmed in a press release Feb. 4 that former governors Jeb Bush of Florida, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Rick Perry of Texas, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, businessman Donald Trump and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin will attend the event.

“We’re delighted with the level of interest we’re seeing and the importance that summit participants are placing on issues that are vital to the future economic direction of our state and nation,” Rastetter said in the release.

The release also stated that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was pleased with the initial lineup.

“This is a unique opportunity for candidates and potential candidates to talk specifically about agricultural and economic issues. I couldn’t be happier to see the number of people who have agreed to participate and I continue to encourage candidates in both parties to come share their message and vision for the country’s economy and the agricultural sector,” Branstad said.

Branstad will speak at the event, along with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Speakers at the event will appear with Rastetter on stage for 20 minutes each to discuss modern production agriculture, renewable fuels, biosciences, genetically modified organisms, grain and livestock markets, land conservation and federal subsidies, according to organizers.

The event is being considered “bipartisan,” as organizers have invited a long list of potential candidates from both sides, including Joe Biden, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Elizabeth Warren and Jim Webb.