Trump names six U.S. governors as agricultural advisors

CHICAGO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump named 64 agriculture policy advisors on Tuesday, a lengthy list that includes the governors of Iowa and five other farm states and a former federal agriculture secretary.

The announcement came as Trump, a New York businessman seeking his first elected office, looks to improve his standing among voters, including those in swing states such as Iowa.

Governors Terry Branstad of Iowa, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska were included on a list of advisors distributed by Trump’s campaign.

Also on the list were John Block, a secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981 to 1986, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who unsuccessfully ran against Trump for the Republican nomination for president.

“The members of my agricultural advisory committee represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities,” Trump said in a statement.

Members of an executive board will “convene on a regular basis,” it said.

The size of the committee shows support for Trump from the agriculture sector, particularly in the Midwest, Branstad spokesman Ben Hammes said in an interview.

In June, representatives of about a dozen agricultural associations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, met with staffers for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to begin a discussion on farm policy.

Clinton led Trump by more than 5 percentage points in the Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released on Friday. (Reporting By P.J. Huffstutter and Tom Polansek)