3 Hoosier Farmers Will Help Advise Trump On Ag, Rural Issues

Aug 16, 2016

(From left:) Mike McCloskey of Fair Oaks Farms, Kip Tom of Tom Farms and Marcus Rust of Rose Acre Farms will join Trump's agricultural advisory committee.
Credit Fairlife / Ballotpedia / Egg Industry Center

Three prominent Hoosier farmers will be part of the agricultural advisory committee for the Trump-Pence campaign.

The Indiana-based co-chairs of Trump's agriculture committee represent three of the largest and most well-connected farm businesses in the state and the country.

They include CEO Marcus Rust of Jackson County-based Rose Acre Farms, the nation's second-biggest egg producer, as well as Mike McCloskey, board chairman of Fair Oaks Farms in Jasper County. They're one of the country's biggest dairies, as well as a major "ag theme park." McCloskey helped start their nutrition-enhanced milk brand, Fairlife, which is distributed by Coca Cola.

The third Hoosier on Trump's agriculture committee is Kip Tom, the CEO of Tom Farms in Kosciusko County. They're a major seed corn producer for Monsanto's Dekalb brand. Tom also ran unsuccessfully for Congress this year, and served under Govs. Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence -- now Trump's running mate -- on the board of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Tom, McCloskey and Rust join more than 60 other agriculture co-chairs, including former and current Republican governors and lawmakers from the South and Midwest. Their chairman is Nebraska cattle rancher Charles Herbster, a friend of Trump's.

He told Politico last month that the agriculture committee would work to end the estate tax and reform trade policies to help farmers. The agriculture committee will also fundraise and court rural voters.