More than 7,400 farmers, including a contingent representing the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB), heard President Donald Trump discuss key issues impacting agriculture, such as restrictive regulations, the Farm Bill and trade during a speech before the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Convention in Nashville. Trump also signed two executive orders that should benefit farms and other businesses by streamlining and expanding broadband access to rural communities, which have struggled to recover economically since the Great Recession of 2007-2008.
The president spent much of his address condemning the costs of excessive regulations and singled out the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which is in the process of being withdrawn following an executive order he signed in the first weeks of his administration.
Trump acknowledged controversy over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other trade agreements that account for roughly a quarter of U.S. agriculture revenues, saying he wants to level the playing field for all farmers and ranchers, as well as U.S. manufacturers. In addition, Trump promised the 2018 Farm Bill would continue to provide a safety net for farmers who are now entering their fifth year of declining incomes.
Among the crowd of attendees listening to the President’s address in Nashville were members of PFB’s State Board of Directors, Young Farmer and Rancher Committee and Women’s Leadership Committee.
“I’m proud to be part of an organization that has the clout and respect to attract the attention and participation of the President of the United States to our annual gathering,” said PFB President Rick Ebert.” I was specifically encouraged by the President’s comments in support of adequately funding the Farm Bill and the importance of foreign trade to the future of agriculture. We look forward to working with the Trump Administration and members of Congress to address some of these pressing issues in 2018.”