***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on grassroots financial supporters to exist. If you appreciate what we do, please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter (even just $5/month would go a long way in sustaining us!) We also offer advertising options for advocacy groups, events and businesses! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News Media” — this is YOUR chance to do something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250 Thank you so much for your support and please invite your friends and family to like us on Facebook, sign up for our email newsletter and visit our website!***

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) marked the end of her “Homegrown Week” after visiting with Iowans in the state’s agriculture community along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Secretary Mike Naig, and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

Ernst and the officials started the day in Johnston, Iowa where they boarded an Iowa National Guard helicopter for an aerial tour of the derecho damage. Today, Secretary Perdue announced his approval of Governor Reynolds’ request for a Secretarial Disaster Designation for 18 counties, allowing Iowa producers to access USDA disaster programs and Farm Service Agency emergency loans. Secretary Perdue’s announcement comes after Ernst urged the USDA to grant the governor’s request.

After touring the storm damage, Ernst made her final 99 County Tour for 2020 stop at Stolee Farms in Hardin County to visit their wetland supported by a partnership between IDALS and USDA. Ernst worked hard to secure key conservation provisions in the Farm Bill, including the bipartisan Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) Act of 2018.

Ernst then traveled to Ellsworth to visit Eagle’s Catch, an aquaculture facility specializing in tilapia production. She ended her Homegrown Week in Ames at Performance Livestock Analytics, an agriculture technology company that uses data to help farmers raise their cattle more efficiently.