Dear Editor:

On Election Day, it is important that we elect people who will represent our opinions and views. Iowa Farm Bureau's Friends of Agriculture will do this.

A recent letter in this newspaper by David Anderson clearly misrepresents the vast, grassroots teamwork of the members of the Iowa Farm Bureau. This team across Iowa consists of 100 local county boards that set the Farm Bureau policies and also select the Friends of Agriculture. These candidate selections are based on sound relationships, candidate voting records or interviews and candidates who will champion causes for all types of agriculture in Iowa.

All choices for the Friend of Agriculture designation begin with an examination of the candidate's record: It's not about playing one party. The simple fact is IFBF farmers and members are far more diverse, both in size of farm, commodities raised and methods of farming, than Anderson gives credit. The average size of a Farm Bureau member's farm is 341 acres. Farmers used conservation tillage on almost 60 percent of planted acres in 2008, up from about 30 percent in 1989. No-till corn acres increased in 2008 by 29,000. These are all policies that IFBF grassroots farmers approved and practices that IFBF farmers encourage.

Conservation, the 2012 Farm Bill, inheritance tax and regulation reform are all issues central to IFBF members, who understand that long-term success in the policy world comes from rewarding candidates who have taken the hard votes supporting pro-farming policies. Farmers and the Iowa Farm Bureau PAC can see beyond the sound-bytes to make a unified choice: choices are about a candidate's rural and farm policy positions, not their political party affiliation. Farm Bureau has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats in recent years.

For a strong agricultural economy in Iowa, for opportunities for our young, for cleaner water and conserving the soil, for an abundant and safe food supply: I encourage you to vote for Friends of Agriculture.