U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has had the opportunity once in his 30 years in the Senate to vote on term limits. He supported them at the time, and said today he may still. But, despite his desire to stick to his principles, Grassley also has spoken to term-limited state lawmakers and come to value the experience that more years in office brings. "The implication I get from these people in California and Florida is you enhance the authority of lobbyists and enhance the authority of bureaucrats, as a result of having green legislators coming in all the time that can be taken advantage of," Grassley said while responding to a question about term limits from a member of the audience at the Louisa and Des Moines County Corn and Soybean Growers Association banquet Wednesday night. Grassley demonstrated his experience during an hourlong discussion with more than 150 of the region's corn and soybean farmers who attended the association's banquet. The senator, who serves on the Senate's agriculture committee, touched on all of the main issues important to farmers, before they had the floor. The attendees followed with more in-depth questions, or touched on other issues. Grassley updated on the status of the farm bill, which got a one-year extension after Congress could not agree to the new five-year legislation. Grassley expects a longer term bill to pass before the Sept. 30 deadline. "It probably won't be easy, because as many of you know, there is less and less understanding and appreciation of the importance of farmer food production," Grassley said, adding ignorance extends to most of Congress, as he is one of two United States senators who have direct ties to agriculture. "So, I have a major responsibility to continue to educate colleagues on the importance of agriculture." He bemoaned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulations that do not pass the "common sense test," including the "fugitive dust" rule, which would fine farmers for not doing more to control the dust when combining. Grassley also talked about his ongoing efforts to promote biofuels and move away from importing petroleum products. "Big oil and big food have been relentless in their opposition to this policy (the renewable fuels standard), so I am going to be relentless in my defense of it, and I think we have some defending to do, particularly in the House of Representatives in this coming summer and fall," Grassley said, adding he's spent the past 30 years defending renewable fuels. He said the industry needs stability and consistency through tax credits. When asked in a follow-up question, Grassley said he thought the Keystone pipeline through the United States from Canada would be a benefit to this country if it could be built and does not believe all of the oil passing through would be exported. Grassley expressed hope Congress would pass a bill this year to authorize the modernization of the lock and dam system to provide more stability to the commerce traveling via barges on the river. He said a bipartisan bill was voted out of committee two weeks ago, and he expects that it will continue to get bipartisan support in the Senate and the House. He also said it looks more likely that Congress and the president will move ahead with trade agreements with foreign countries. He said that would be a benefit to industries like agriculture. For those, however, who don't support the senator's voting record during his years in office, he also had guidance on that. When asked how to let Congress know people don't agree with its decisions, Grassley responded by saying regardless of what people think, elections matter and so do letter-writing campaigns.