So much for an "unofficial" role: Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, and Republican power-broker Bruce Rastetter are among more than 60 people named this morning to Donald Trump's "Agricultural Advisory Committee." Its "executive board members will convene on a regular basis," according to a news release I've posted after the jump. Note that the campaign statement misspells Northey's name and describes Rastetter as having hosted the "first Republican Presidential debate." Actually, Rastetter organized an Iowa Ag Summit at which nine presidential contenders (not including Trump) appeared in March 2015. New Jersey journalist Claude Brodesser-Akner was the first to report Branstad's and Rastetter's involvement as Trump advisers last week.
The other Iowans on the list released today are:
• Sam Clovis, who traded in his conservative and religious principles last summer to become Trump's "national chief policy advisor";
• former State Representative Annette Sweeney, a friend of Rastetter's since childhood who chaired the Iowa House Agriculture Committee until redistricting forced her into a losing primary battle against fellow House Republican Pat Grassley. She was a key player in passing Iowa's unconstitutional "ag gag bill," the first of its kind in the country. Soon after finishing her legislative service, Sweeney became president of a public policy group called Iowa Agri-Women.
• Ron Heck, identified as an Iowa farmer and past president of the American Soybean Association.
Any comments about the presidential race are welcome in this thread. Northey is widely expected to run for governor in 2018 rather than seek a fourth term as secretary of agriculture. His likely opponents in a GOP gubernatorial primary include Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett. While the lieutenant governor has repeatedly urged Iowans to vote for Trump at public events, Corbett has wisely kept some distance between himself and the presidential nominee. He steered clear of Trump's rally in Cedar Rapids on July 28.
August 16 press release from the Trump/Pence campaign:
Donald J. Trump Announces Agricultural Advisory Committee Including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
TRUMP CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
(New York, NY) August 16, 2016 – Donald J. Trump is pleased to announce his new Agricultural Advisory Committee. The men and women on the committee will provide pioneering new ideas to strengthen our nation’s agricultural industry as well as provide support to our rural communities. Mr. Trump understands the critical role our nation’s agricultural community plays in feeding not only our country, but the world, and how important these Americans are to powering our nation’s economy.
The formation of the board represents Donald J. Trump’s endorsement of these individuals’ diverse skill sets and ideas that can improve the lives of those in agricultural communities. Mr. Trump has received widespread support from voters who understand he is the only candidate with the best interests of the agricultural community at the heart of his policies.
Mr. Trump said, “The members of my agricultural advisory committee represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities. Many of these officials have been elected by their communities to solve the issues that impact our rural areas every day. I’m very proud to stand with these men and women, and look forward to serving those who serve all Americans from the White House.”
The executive board members will convene on a regular basis.
Advisory board members include:
Charles Herbster – National Chairman of the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President
Sam Clovis - National Chief Policy Advisor for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President
Rebeckah Adcock -CropLife, Senior Director, Government Affairs
Robert Aderholt - Congressman from Alabama; Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture
Jay Armstrong - Kansas Wheat Commission; Chairman, Farm Foundation
Gary Black - Commissioner Agriculture, Georgia
John Block - Former Sec. of USDA
Mike Brandenburg - State Legislator, North Dakota
Terry Branstad – Governor of Iowa
Sam Brownback – Governor of Kansas
Chuck Conner – CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Mike Conaway – House Agriculture Chairman
Jack Dalrymple – Governor of North Dakota
Dennis Daugaard – Governor of South Dakota
Rodney Davis – Congressman from Illinois; House Agriculture committee and Subcommittee Chair of Bio Tech
Mary Fallin – Governor of Oklahoma
Eddie Fields – Senator, Oklahoma; Chair Senate Ag and Rural Development
Steve Foglesong - Former President National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Jim Gilmore - Former Governor Virginia; Chairman of Report on Terrorism and Agro-Terrorism
Bob Goodale - Former CEO of Harris Teeter
Bob Goodlatte - Congressman, Virginia; Former Chairman House Agriculture Committee
Mike Green – State Senator, Michigan; Appropriations Agriculture Chair; Senate Agriculture Committee Vice Chair
Helen Groves – Rancher; daughter of Robert Kleberg (King Ranch); Well known in TX/ranching world
Ron Heck – Iowa farmer and Past President of the American Soybean Assoc.
Dave Heineman – Former Gov. Nebraska
Hans Hunts – State Legislator, Wyoming; Wyoming House Ag Committee; Rancher
Cindy Hyde – Smith – Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Mississippi
Brent Jackson – State Senator, North Carolina
A.G. Kawamura – Former Sec. Food & Agriculture, California
John Kautz – California wine producer; CEO Ironstone Vineyards
Charlotte Kelly – Tennessee cotton grower along with her husband (14,000 acres) plus operating a cotton gin processing 30,000 plus bales and a leader in the cotton industry
Mark Killian – Commissioner of Agriculture, Arizona; Farmer and rancher AZ
Brian Klippenstein – Protect the Harvest
Tsosie Lewis – Former CEO of Navaho Nation's Agricultural Products Industries
Forrest Lucas – CEO Lucas Oil; Protect the Harvest
Mike McCloskey – CEO Fair Oaks Farms- one of largest dairies in U.S.
Beau McCoy – State Senator; Nebraska Nat. Chr. Council State Govts
Ted McKinney – Former Director of Global Corp. Affairs for Elanco Animal Health
Sid Miller – Commissioner of Agriculture, Texas
Jim Moseley – Former consultant on agriculture at EPA; Former Deputy Secretary of USDA
Brian Munzlinger - Chairman Missouri Senate Ag Committee
Casey Murdock – State Senator, Oklahoma
Tom Nassif – President Western Growers; Former Ambassador
Garry Niemeyer – Former President National Corn Growers
Bill Northy – Secretary of Ag, Iowa
Sonny Perdue – Former Gov. Georgia
Rick Perry – Former Gov. Texas
Ryan Quarles – Commissioner of Agriculture, Kentucky
Bruce Rastetter – Summit Ag Group of Alden, Iowa; Hosted first Republican Presidential debate
Jim Reese – Secretary of Agriculture for Gov. Mary Fallin of OK
Larry Rhoden – Senator South Dakota; House Majority Leader and Sen Majority Whip; Chair Senate Ag Committee
Pete Ricketts –Governor of Nebraska
Pat Roberts – U.S. Senator Kansas
Marcus Rust – CEO Rose Acre Farms- second largest egg producer in U.S.
Leslie Rutledge – Attorney General, Arkansas; Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorney General Agriculture Committee and is married to a soybean producer
David Spears – Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Dole Ag Advisor; Senior Vice President, Mid-Kansas Cooperative, Inc.
Dr. Mike Strain – Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana
Red Steagall – Official Cowboy Poet of Texas
Annette Sweeney – Former Iowa House Agriculture, Chair; Farmer; Agriculture Advocate
Kip Tom – CEO, Tom Farms LLC-Largest Agri-Business farm operator in Indiana; Operates farms in South America
Johnny Trotter – CEO of BarG- 125,000 feedlot operation and farms 10,0000 acres in TX
Steve Wellman – Former President of the American Soybean Association
Walt Whitcomb – Ag Commissioner, Maine
John Wilkinson - Chairman, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee Georgia State Senate