Talent receives endorsement of Missouri Pork Association
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) appeared in Marshall Saturday, July 29, to receive an endorsement for his re-election campaign from the Missouri Pork Association.
Dennis Dohrman of Sweet Springs, past chairman of the MPA, made the announcement at the MFA research facility south of Marshall.
"Very rarely do we endorse a candidate," Dohrman said. "But this time, the board decided it was important to endorse Sen. Talent."
Dohrman noted that Talent "has been important to agriculture and to pork production."
Missouri Director of Agriculture Fred Ferrell also made a few remarks at the news conference and said Talent had lived up to his campaign promises to support agriculture, in part by getting appointed to the Senate agriculture committee.
Talent thanked the association for the endorsement and promised to continue his support of agriculture.
"I'm a big believer in agriculture," he said. "You have to be if you're going to represent Missouri."
Agriculture is the only part of the economy that has a trade surplus, he said.
"We have the most abundant food supply in the world -- ever," Talent said. "It's a tremendous blessing."
He noted that protecting that food supply is a matter of national security.
"Everybody knows about dependence on foreign energy," and the leverage that dependence gives other countries over the U.S. "What if they could do that with food?"
He also addressed several other issues that are high in the priorities of area farmers. One was the U.S. Corps of Engineers plans to artificially raise the level of the Missouri River in order to stimulate the population of the pallid sturgeon.
"In Washington you have to argue with people about common sense things," he said. "People are more important than fish."
The audience applauded that comment. And Richard Clemens, chairman of the Saline County Republican Party, said that was one of two issues Talent raised that are most important to him.
"We have 370 acres of river bottom," he said, adding that fluctuations in the river level have a direct financial effect on his family.
Another issue Talent raised that drew applause from the audience was the need for affordable health insurance for independent farmers. He promised to support legislation that would enable farmers to form associations that could pool resources to provide cheaper health insurance.
"It won't cost tax payers a dime," he said.
Clemens said that would be welcome relief.
"Health insurance absolutely kills us (financially)," Clemens said.
Talent is expected to be challenged by Missouri Auditor Claire McCaskill, a Democrat vying for his Senate seat.
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