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Harvest Public Media
Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Most Harvest Public Media stories begin with radio- regular reports are aired on member stations in the Midwest. But Harvest also explores issues through online analyses, television documentaries and features, podcasts, photography, video, blogs and social networking. They are committed to the highest journalistic standards. Click here to read their ethics standards.Harvest Public Media was launched in 2010 with the support of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Today, the collaboration is supported by CPB, the partner stations, and contributions from underwriters and individuals.Tri States Public Radio is an associate partner of Harvest Public Media. You can play an important role in helping Harvest Public Media and Tri States Public Radio improve our coverage of food, field and fuel issues by joining the Harvest Network. Learn more here.

Where Trump and Clinton Might Agree on Food Policy: Food Stamps and Conservation

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Trump: John Pemble/Iowa Public Radio, Clinton: Clay Masters/Iowa Public Radio
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speak separately in Iowa in September.

While the third and final presidential debate set for Wednesday evening will surely be marked by the candidates' disagreements, a forum debating their positions on food and farm issues Wednesday morning was notable for showcasing where the nominees agree.

At a Washington, D.C. forum produced by the agricultural policy group Farm Foundation, surrogates for the Trump and Clinton campaigns presented their candidates’ takes on farm and food issues from trade to taxes. Sam Clovis, a campaign co-chair and policy advisor, spoke on the positions of Republican nominee Donald Trump. Former U.S. Department of Agriculture deputy Kathleen Merrigan spoke on behalf of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The campaigns agree on food policy in some surprising ways. Most notable: both campaigns say that food-stamp benefits should remain a part of the Farm Bill, Merrigan and Clovis said. That is a break for Trump from the official platform of the Republican Party. The marriage of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Farm Bill has always been uneasy.

The campaigns also both said farmers should manage the environment responsibly. Farmers should be incentivized to implement conservation techniques, Clovis said. Clinton has previously called for more funding for conservation efforts like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Despite gains, the agriculture industry still contributes to water pollution and is a major cause of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Clinton campaign released a detailed plan on policy changesmeant to grow the rural economy. Trump created an agricultural advisory committee in August. Without detailed plans for food and farm policy, though, it’s hard to say just how deep these agreements go.

Merrigan and Clovis drew stark policy differences on taxes and environmental regulation. Trump has pledged to reduce corporate tax rates, to eliminate the estate tax, and to place a moratorium on hotly contested updates to clean water rules. Merrigan said the rhetoric on both the estate tax and clean water rules has been “blown out of proportion.” 

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