His speech is the first by a sitting President since 1992
By Diego Flammini
During his address at the 99th American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn. yesterday, the President signed two executive orders to help rural communities and farmers access the broadband they need to download an analyze sophisticated farm data.
“I will take the first step to expand access to broadband internet in rural America,” he told the crowd yesterday. “I will sign two Presidential Orders to provide broader, faster and better-internet coverage.”
The first order commands the Department of the Interior to dedicate some of its assets to rural broadband installation. The second executive order requires agencies to use standardized forms and contacts for installing antennas on federal buildings.
Trump’s speech, which was the first by a sitting President since George H.W. Bush in 1992, highlighted developments in the ag industry since his presidency began in January 2016.
Focusing specifically on his tax reform bill, Trump outlined how his legislation will help producers make necessary investments and plan for succession.
“American farmers will be able to deduct 100 percent of the cost of new equipment in the year you make the investment,” he said. “And from now on, most family farms will be spared the punishment of the deeply unfair estate tax, known as the death tax, so you can keep your farms in the family.”
Repealing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and streamlining regulations that have blocked cutting edge biotechnology efforts have also helped U.S. farmers, he said.
Renegotiating trade agreements and passing a Farm Bill on time are also part of Trump’s agenda, he told the farm delegation.
“That includes crop insurance,” he added. That represents a change in tone after a USDA budget outline from last May suggested $28 billion cuts to crop insurance over 10 years.
Reaction to Trump’s remarks
Many ag organizations and individual farmers commented following the President’s speech in Nashville.
Farmers for Free Trade urged Washington to continue working towards a NAFTA that includes the United States.
“We urge the Administration to modernize NAFTA without withdrawing, to proceed with caution on imposing new tariffs that could hurt American farmers, and to open new markets across the globe to keep pace with our competitors,” Max Baucus and Richard Lugar, co-chairs of Farmers for Free Trade, said in a statement yesterday.
David Fisher, president of the New York Farm Bureau, was encouraged by the President’s trade message.
That’s “very critical to the dairy industry, especially in New York,” he said in a video on the New York Farm Bureau’s Facebook page.
Trump’s message also provided hope for the future of farming, Jenny Holtermann, an almond producer from California, wrote on Twitter.
Top photo: President Trump addresses the delegation at the American Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Convention.
Photo: American Farm Bureau Federation