Reynolds visits South Tama agriculture expo

TAMA – The Importance of Ag Expo drew exhibitors, farm industry leaders, students and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds to South Tama High School Wednesday.

The expo featured a wide range of exhibits from agriculture business, colleges and government entities.

The event was organized by the South Tama FFA chapter and teacher Terri Guenther-Mayer, who said it was designed to give all of the students at the school some exposure to agriculture.

Reynolds toured the exhibits with South Tama FFA students Jake Kucera said Erin Clayton.

“It’s a good experience so people can get an understanding of agriculture,” Kucera said of the expo.

Reynolds spoke about the importance of agriculture to Iowa’s economy during a presentation to the students. She said one in six Iowa jobs are supported by the ag industry and it provides $72 billion to the state’s economy.

“It plays such an important role in our economy and the state of Iowa,” Reynolds said.

She said events like this ag expo help students feel that connection to agriculture.

“I think what we have to do is help them see the connection there and help them see the relevance,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds also talked about the importance of the Renewable Fuels Standard and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiative.

She spoke for several minutes on the RFS, which is a standard that boosts the ethanol industry that the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to cut back. Reynolds said this will take the biofuels industry backwards.

“Why in the world would we change what’s working?” Reynolds said.

Reynolds was asked by the Times-Republican about the decision of Gov. Terry Branstad to close the Iowa Juvenile Home in nearby Toledo.

“First and foremost our thoughts have always been about doing what’s right for the children and making sure they are in accredited institution where they have access to not only education but also the services they need to help them transition into a better quality of life,” Reynolds said.

The event was funded by a grant form the Iowa Food & Family Project. South Tama was one of 12 FFA chapters in the state to receive the grant.