From the time I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was be a farmer. My family owned and operated a multigenerational, diversified operation that raised corn, wheat, soybeans and cattle. My dad was a cowboy. He was tough, straight-talking, and hardworking. I dreamed of being just like him. But when he was just 49 years old, my dad was killed in an accident on our family farm.
I left college to come home and become the general manager of the operation. It was such a difficult time in my life. Managing the employees, markets, and day-to-day activities while dealing with a tragedy was overwhelming. Then, I received a letter from the IRS saying I owed federal taxes... because my dad had died. We had land, cattle, and machinery, but not extra money in the bank. I could not understand how a law could threaten a family business, because a tragedy had happened to them. It made me so mad.
I took out a loan to cover those taxes and for 10 years fought to pay the bills and keep our family business operating. I also started to get involved in changing the policies that threaten family farmers and ranchers most. We needed an advocate who understood how producers feel when the federal government threatens their livelihood.
When I ran for Congress, I looked for others who understood the challenges our small businesses face in tax and regulatory policy every day. Marco Rubio is one of those individuals. He not only understands the challenges, but fights to stop government overreach daily. He doesn't just talk the talk; he does the hard work to get it fixed. I am proud to support him for President of the United States.
Our country is blessed to have the most efficient, productive, safe, and affordable food supply in the world. It is because of the hard work of America's farmers and ranchers that we enjoy a healthy farm economy that meets the needs of a growing global population.
Agriculture is one of the few areas of our national economy where we export more than we import. It is critical for our national security that America grows its own food and doesn't rely on other countries to feed us. When other nations get their food from the United States, we all live in a friendlier neighborhood. Marco understands this.
Food production will need to increase 50 to 60 percent by 2050 in order to meet the world’s needs. This growing demand for food and the increased scarcity of resources have the potential to inject new political instability in an already dangerous world. America's producers will lead the way in meeting this enormous challenge and, in doing so, they will play a role in making our country and the world a safer and more secure place.
As President, Marco will make sure we support our farmers and ranchers. He will carry out a conservative agenda that gets the federal government off the backs of small businesses. He supports repealing the death tax that hit our family when tragedy struck and will reform our tax code to create jobs across America.
Marco has also promised to take a stand against environmental regulations perpetuated by the Obama administration that target farmers, including the controversial "Waters of the U.S." land grab. He will stop regulators from using the Endangered Species Act to further their influence and control. He’ll replace bureaucracy with a common-sense approach, making institutional changes that limit the cost of regulations and save you money.
Ronald Reagan said, "This country is nothing without the farmer, and those who work the land have the right to know that there's a future in farming. Their children have the right to know that they'll still be able to work the family farm generations from now and make a decent living." If elected president, Marco Rubio will build on this legacy. Rural America and our nation's producers will have no greater friend.
He understands that the American Dream must once again define this nation and he believes agriculture is critical to fulfilling that vision. That's why Marco Rubio has earned my support.
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) was first elected to serve as South Dakota’s lone Member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. She was re-elected to a third term in the House in 2014. She currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. Kristi is also a wife, mother, experienced rancher, farmer and small business owner.