President Donald Trump assured farmers and ranchers that a top priority of his administration is fighting for the farmers and ranchers who grow our food. In his address at the American Farm Bureau Convention Sunday in Austin, Trump listed numerous victories of his administration in trade, regulatory reform, rural connectivity and ag labor. 

“Our recent trade deals are just the beginning of a really incredible story,” Trump told more than 5000 enthusiastic farmers and ranchers. He pointed out that farmers and ranchers deserved a level playing field in trade and now they have it and more with China, the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, the trade agreement with Japan and others in the works.
“If we harvest or herd it in the United States, I want to help you sell it all around the world,” he noted.

Trump covered regulatory reform including the withdrawing of Waters of the U.S. Rule. “This president will never micro-manage America’s farms,” he said. “There are no better stewards of our precious natural resources than the American farmers who depend on the land and the environment for their very livelihood. You love your land.”

In addition, he touted the investments continuing to be made in getting rural broadband to all rural communities across America.

“I think it’s marvelous that we had thirty-eight Montana Farm Bureau members hearing President Trump. The fact we actually saw the president speaking gives us more validity when we go home and point out what’s not being reported,” said MFBF President Hans McPherson. “What especially resonated was his statement that there needs to be local control of irrigation water. We have had so much federal government overreach and ridiculous regulations coming from the Army Corps of Engineers on irrigation water. Those decisions aren’t being made by local conservation districts or county commissioners; they’re being made in Seattle, Omaha and Washington, D.C."

“Of course, I loved hearing all of positive trade news,” McPherson said. “We have been hearing about the USMCA and China, but then President Trump listed all of the other trade deals with South Korea, Guatemala, Vietnam, Tunisia, Ecuador and others.”

McPherson noted that Trump is a true supporter of agriculture. “He understands that farming and ranching are over-regulated. He had said his goal was that for every new regulation, his administration would eliminate two. They’ve done better than that. They’ve eliminated eight for every one. We especially enjoyed hearing about introduction of the Clear Water/Clear Rules to replace the detrimental Waters of the U.S. It was worth three hours waiting to hear him.”

“Listening to our president talk about ‘promises made, promises kept’ makes it a great day for agriculture,” said Susan Lake, a Ronan farmer. “Having a president who doesn’t just gives lip service to farmers and ranchers make my husband and me optimistic about the future of agriculture. Ag has not felt sun on its face from Washington, D.C. for quite a while. Free trade has not been fair trade, and this president has acted on that. We now have what looks like more open markets for our beef, wheat and other agricultural products.”

Lake said her farm will keep growing beef, potatoes and wheat, and she is hopeful the new trade deals equate higher prices.
Following the speech Lewistown rancher Dennis Descheemaeker added, “After hearing President Trump I believe my sons and grandsons have a better chance at keeping our ranching lifestyle. I feel like we’ll be able to make it.”