Issue Position: Agriculture
Rural communities are the backbone of our state, and agriculture is the backbone of rural communities. That's why I believe there is little of greater importance to our state than the health of our farms, ranches and agricultural communities.
As Governor I will:
* Promote farm cooperatives of all kinds.
Farm cooperatives can be useful tools for everything from purchasing fuel and fertilizer at bulk prices to retaining local ownership of wind farm projects. I will put a 21st century twist on this age old practice, by starting a Web site to make it easier than ever for farmers to find each other and start a cooperative.
* Open new markets.
A Mathern administration will be a friend of farmers in finding new markets for their products. This means everything from more trade missions to foreign countries to the promotion of niche, high-margin farming areas, such as organic crops and livestock.
* Promote a strategic fuel reserve.
Over the last few years, North Dakota farmers have faced the daunting possibility of going into harvest season with not enough fuel available for purchase at any price. I will solve this problem by creating a strategic fuel reserve that will let farmers sleep easy during talk of a shortage, and make sure many valuable acres don't rot in the field if there's an actual shortage.