The March 4 trip to Iowa also included a brief visit with FFA members in Johnston and a stop at Corteva (formerly Pioneer) seed facilities in Johnston.
“I have a feeling that this was a visit that was scheduled in hopes of being able to announce something,” said Iowa State University agricultural economist Chad Hart. “They ended up not having anything to announce, but let’s give Pompeo and (Ambassador to China Terry) Branstad credit, for coming to talk to farmers. Farmers are an important piece of Trump’s political base," Hart said. "Coming to the Midwest to try to remind that base that the administration knows it is suffering makes for good politics. And Pompeo, a Kansas native, is one of the members of Trump’s cabinet who may be best able to talk to Midwestern farmers."
Hart was also quoted in a March 14 Wallaces Farmer story "Trump looks to 'thread the needle' with farms, oil interests."
“You look at President George W. Bush, President Obama, and now President Trump, they’ve all wrestled with this and how to thread the needle,” said Chad Hart, a professor of agriculture at Iowa State University in Ames. “President Trump has had to dig in a little deeper, because when he was candidate Trump he courted both of these constituencies really hard. They both expect him to be more aggressive on it and therefore he has to be.”