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Congressional candidates discuss Iowa agriculture, rural health care

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SHELDON, IA (KTIV) -- Iowa's fourth congressional district candidates-- Republican Randy Feenstra and Democrat J.D. Scholten-- addressed a host of issues during a forum, in Sheldon, Iowa, hosted by the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

The candidates were asked about increasing ethanol production, expanding Iowa's corn trade, and providing affordable health care for farmers.

It was a forum, so candidates couldn't respond to each others answers. Still, the questions highlighted differences between Feenstra and Scholten.

The biggest differences came when talk turned to trade relations with China, and health care.

On health care, Feenstra said the answer is going back to the public sector. Scholten said he is going to fight for universal health care if elected.

Feenstra wants to extend H-2-A visas for immigrant workers to a year. Scholten said the whole visa program needs to be reformed.

Several times, Feenstra emphasized how he wants to be on the House Agriculture Committee to fight for farmers.

Scholten said, if elected, he wants to modernize the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act.

One association member said he was glad the association hosted the discussion between the two candidates.

"Agriculture is pretty essential but the health care discussion was pretty important," said Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Iowa Corn Growers Association. "I bring that up in a lot of meetings. I wanted to hear more about their positions on health care."

The Iowa Corn Growers Association wanted to open tonight's forum to the public. Due to COVID-19 concerns, only members could attend.

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Claire Bradshaw

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