It’s always interesting to compare what presidential candidates consider to be most important to rural communities to what people who live here think. For instance, even though the campaigns have been going on for nearly two years, do we know what Obama and McCain think about seed?

Yep, seed. We seen an increasing number of meetings, articles and protests about who owns seed. Seed prices have shot up $100 a bag this year at the same time the number of seed companies have declined. (There used to be 600 regional seed providers; now there are 150.) As the market consolidated, farmers have less choice. Less choice equals even higher prices.

The Organization for Competitive Markets is sponsoring a day-long meeting on the seed industry at the 4H building at the Clay County, Iowa, fairgrounds in Spencer on September 11. There will be speakers and a complimentary dinner provided by Oak Tree Bar-B-Q. Go to the OCM site for more information.

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