Run for Congress
The Missouri 9th District is one of the more agricultural districts in the U.S. It is roughly the northeast quarter of the state. The district’s largest city is Columbia, which is where I graduated from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture in 1971. A General Motors plant is just outside the district, at Wentzville, with a lot of its employees (many of them part-time farmers) residing in the 9th. The northernmost city in the district is Kirksville, very near the Iowa line, which is home to Truman University, a particularly highly regarded school. Interest in ethanol production runs high, with a very successful new farmer-owned ethanol plant at Macon and another on the planning boards a Laddonia. While livestock production has fallen off, as in many places, it still is important, and the giant Premium Standard Farms hog operation just outside the district near Kirksville stands as a reminder (even after it’s multiple bankruptcies) of what farmers and consumers here DON’T WANT.
While the 9th was recently redistricted, dropping one Democratic county and adding three Republican counties to the south (nearer the Boot Heel area where the incumbent was raised) it’s historically very Democratic. Prior to the incumbent’s election in 1996, not another Republican was elected Representative of “the Proud Missouri 9th” since just before the Great Depression! (How’s that for a scary sign?!)
After college, I went to South America with Peace Corps, then did graduate study in Ag Economics at Nebraska, and worked at a fertilizer dealership before becoming a newsletter writer for the American Ag Movement in Washington. After that, I did farm work and trucking, and ran a “Best of Missouri Farm” food wholesaling business in the St. Charles County area of Missouri before going back to Washington (with my wife and daughter) to head a sustainable agriculture program in 1991. In 1993 I left that post to lobby against NAFTA, and after that did farm work in Maryland near Washington until 2002. Then I did several months lobby work to oppose Fast Track (a measure giving the president the authority in international trade agreements that the Constitution assigns to Congress) for the American Ag Movement and Americans for Trade Defense. After that, I returned to Missouri, where I’m now engaged in this campaign for the 9th District U.S. house seat.
Interestingly, the incumbent also graduated from the University of Missouri with a major in Agriculture Economics. But from there he next studied law at the University of Mississippi, then came back to Missouri and was soon elected to be a county prosecutor, then worked in the state Attorney General’s office (under John Ashcroft), and then was elected U.S. Representative in 1996. There, he initially served on the House Agriculture Committee, but shifted to House Ways and Means, explaining that trade policy matters dealt with in that committee are perhaps more important to agriculture than the farm bills.
Parity is very much a part of my campaign message, as you would guess. It resonates well with voters that finally there’s a candidate who is talking about farm prices and the idiocy of us dropping trade barriers. As I put it in a recently published letter,” we must be diligent about trade across our borders, and protect those things we value and strive for, like reasonable fairness in both wages and prices, including farm prices.
I’m especially happy about the quality of the volunteer staff we’re putting together. We are very hopeful of winning, even while being outspent ten to one.
Bob and Mina Hemminger are spearheading an effort to raise money from A.A.M. members to help get the campaign started. All members are asked to make an contribution to Don's campaign of any amount up to $1000.00. Only personal checks can be accepted. Make payable to Deichman for Congress, send to Bob and Mina Hemminger, 22667 HWY H, Hale, Mo. 64643. We have not had a better advocate for PARITY run for Congress since 1986. Lets all do whatever we can to support Don and the Missouri A.A.M. in getting him elected.