© 2024 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

King Opponent Backs Farmers In Soapbox Speech

John Pemble/IPR
J.D. Scholten speaks at the Des Moines Register's Political Soapbox on Saturday, Aug. 18.

The Democrat who hopes to unseat Republican Congressman Steve King  in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District told state fairgoers Saturday that residents in the district are suffering from the Trump administration’s tariffs and they need someone fighting for them. Coming from a farming family, J.D. Scholten says he believes he can be that leader.
At the Des Moines Register’s political soapbox, the former professional baseball player and paralegal said the $12 billion bailout for farmers announced in July is not enough.

“We want trade, not aid, but the way I look at it is it’s like you’re getting punched in the face and that same guy that punches you in the face gives you an ice cube to cool that down,” Scholten said. “What are we doing to stop this? Who is fighting for the farmers?”

Scholten told the crowd that farmers are being hurt by the disagreement over the renewable fuel standard. He also blames both Democrats and Republicans for consolidation in seed markets, grain processing and meat packing, which has reduced market choice for farmers.

“Any time you lose market choice, the price on farmers goes up and the pressure on farmers goes up,” Scholten said.

Scholten says that needs to be controlled, so we can “jump ahead of the curve on this.”

He also said the fight over the renewable fuel standard is causing a surplus in corn, decreasing costs.

“Who’s fighting for the farmers? Who’s looking out for us?” he asked.   

Congressman King, an eight-term incumbent, did not speak at The Register’s soapbox this year.

Scholten said he has been trying to contact King to do a debate in the district, but he has not yet received a response.

Katie Peikes was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio from 2018 to 2023. She joined IPR as its first-ever Western Iowa reporter, and then served as the agricultural reporter.