via Politico (@politico)

Few doubt the importance of the Iowa caucuses in American presidential politics. And for the first time, an agricultural “caucus” of sorts – a policy summit – will be held for those aspiring to be the GOP’s 2016 presidential nominee. The event is slated for Saturday, March 7, and has been organized by agribusiness “mogul” Bruce Rastetter. It’s designed to promote discussions of farm policy (vital to Iowa’s economy).

A dozen potential Republican presidential candidates will sit down, one by one, with Iowa’s biggest GOP donor, and field questions on agricultural policy issues.

Helena Bottemiller Evich (@hbottemiller) reports:

In the coming days, Rastetter will be narrowing down what questions he’ll ask the candidates on March 7. He said he really wants a serious policy discussion rather than stump speeches, which in past couple of presidential cycles have only really addressed ethanol. While he wants to broaden the discussion, there’s no doubt the candidates will still be pressed on where they stand on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The would-be candidates and people in their orbit have been calling Rastetter and his team asking for help as they mull their positions on the issues.

“It’s going to make them more substantive in their approach,” said Rastetter. “I think it’s already working.”


Will this model be picked up by other states? Read the story in Politico.