Farmers discuss biggest concerns ahead of Iowa caucus

Female farmers on the Iowa caucus
Female farmers on the Iowa caucus 01:53

Ankeny, Iowa — Billie Wilson, Chris Henning, Ellen Walsh-Rosmann and LaVon Griffieon are all farmers with a passion for politics. Each will caucus for a Democrat in Iowa.

"I think all of them can beat Donald Trump," said 33-year-old Walsh-Rosmann.

She's a mother of two who thinks Elizabeth Warren can revitalize farm country.

"I want to make sure that people my age and peers are coming back and they have a reason to come back to rural America," she said.

Henning, 72, has only decided she's not supporting Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.

"My issues are their age, their health and their stamina," Henning said. "They're older than me and— and I think I'm too old to run for office."

Like many of her rural neighbors, healthcare is an issue for 66-year-old Wilson.

"In small towns, most people don't have anybody that pays their insurance. Even, you know, even the small businesses don't provide insurance," Wilson said. "So everybody is in the same boat." 

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Billie Wilson, Chris Henning, Ellen Walsh-Rosmann and LaVon Griffieon will each caucus for a Democrat in Iowa. CBS News

LaVon Griffieon, 63, is concerned about the economy. "In 2012, we had soybeans that were $15, and now they're at $8. That's half," Griffieon said.

Farmers have been hard hit by the trade war with China, the world's largest soybean buyer. Despite billions set aside in aid, U.S. farms have endured a spike in bankruptcies last year.

For the farmers CBS News spoke to, they said caring for land and livestock requires long hours and lots of help. Hiring immigrants is a critical issue for them.

 "They do the jobs that no one else wants to do," Wilson said and the other women agreed. Griffieon told CBS News "they're not stealing our jobs."