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Ernst: Thanksgiving Tables Set by Iowa Farmers

As Americans put down their phones and pick up their turkey basters, we are reminded of just how much we have to be grateful for.

First and foremost, we think of the men and women bravely protecting our nation at home and abroad. In this time of great uncertainty and unrest, the mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons missing from our tables are playing a critical role in keeping America and her allies safe from those who wish to do us harm.

Our servicemembers’ dedication to America’s founding ideal of freedom over tyranny mirrors that of the Pilgrims who first stepped foot on Plymouth Harbor, Washington at Valley Forge, and Lincoln in some of our country’s darkest hours. They knew then, as we know now, that unity between neighbors and gratitude to God can be a lifeboat in troubled waters.

As we give thanks alongside family and friends, it is impossible to forget the delicious food that piles on our plates and fills our stomachs. Iowa can be proud of its leading part and heritage of making Thanksgiving feasts happen.

In the face of drought, insane input prices, burdensome regulations, and more, farm families and workers show up each and every day to feed and fuel us. They put in early mornings and long, hard hours to provide a bountiful harvest.

Thanks to the dedication of our farmers in the fields, the USDA’s latest crop update says corn is 97 percent harvested, on pace with last year and ahead of the five-year average. The soybean harvest is also nearly complete.

And when we think of the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving feast, the turkey, Iowa farmers lead the way there, too. Our state ranks seventh in U.S. turkey production, raising approximately 12 million corn and soybean-eating turkeys each year. According to the Iowa Turkey Federation, these birds employ or support over 38,000 total jobs, generating billions for Iowa along with many other sectors of the ag industry.

Even as avian flu continues to cause concern, our poultry farmers are working diligently to keep their birds safe. Iowa is lucky to be home to some of the foremost experts in animal welfare and conservation; the folks caring for our flocks and fields are some of the best in the world.

That’s why I’m working hard in the Senate to ensure Iowa’s agriculture community can continue to do what they do best – produce world-class food, fuel, and fiber – without bureaucrats from Washington getting in the way!

While I’m glad our farmers are getting some certainty from a one-year extension of the Farm Bill, I will continue working to pass a five-year bill that puts farmers first, keeps animal disease in check, and conserves our beautiful lands and hard-earned taxpayer dollars. 

The gravy train should be passed around the Thanksgiving table, not the halls of Congress! As inflation and Bidenomics continue to undermine farms and families across the nation, I won’t stop fighting to rein in reckless spending and end the waste in Washington.

Despite our challenges, here in America, we have so much to be thankful for – and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to stop and count our blessings.

May God bless our troops, our veterans, our agricultural community, and the great United States of America. Happy Thanksgiving!