During the Republican and Democratic conventions, both parties adopted their platforms outlining their individual parties’ beliefs on a range of issues, including agriculture. Both party platforms support crop insurance, expanded trade and funding for food safety.

There are several issues where they differ, including stances on regulation and energy policy. Both platforms recognized previous bipartisan action regarding commodity programs and call for the end of direct payments in favor of a move toward programs similar to crop insurance. The Democratic platform also includes language supporting a permanent disaster relief program. Both platforms offer similar views regarding agricultural research.

Representatives of both parties will participate in a Presidential agricultural issues forum on Sept. 12 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sen. Johanns (R-Neb.), a former USDA secretary, will represent the Romney campaign and former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge will represent the Obama campaign.

Congress returns the week of Sept. 10 and a group of more than 60 agricultural organizations, including the NCC, plan to hold a rally on Capitol Hill to urge passage of the farm bill before its Sept. 30 expiration. In addition to grower leaders, House and Senate Members have been invited to speak. The rally is expected to draw several hundred farmers and ranchers.