Before a crowd estimated at more than 4,500 roaring its full-throated approval, President Donald Trump Jan. 8 extolled the virtues of rural America at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting at Nashville, Tennessee.
Despite the boisterous welcome, the speech was also colored by Trump's push to renegotiate NAFTA and leave other global trade agreements, policy proposals that many American farmers have not supported due to their reliance on worldwide markets and low to no tariffs.
President Trump also promised to pass the next Farm Bill before legislation funding support schemes for U.S. farmers expires on 1 October. The advisory committee of farm industry stakeholders, headed by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, also called for increased resources to fight the opioid crisis, which has disproportionately affected rural communities.
Then, flanked by Tennessee lawmakers and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Mr. Trumpsigned two executive orders created to increase the reach of broadband into rural areas and to support broadband tower facilities in rural America.
Trump became the first president in a quarter-century to address the federation's convention, using the trip to Nashville as a backdrop for a White House report that included proposals to stimulate a segment of the national economy that has lagged behind others. "You embody the values of hard work, grit, self-reliance and sheer determination that we need to - have you heard this expression? - make America great again".
"Today, the task force is releasing its final report and I am taking action", President Trump said.
"Farmers and ranchers are the lifeblood of our rural communities and backbone of our country It's refreshing to see a President take such personal interest in the rural American constituency". Trump's mention of that repeal delivered him one of several standing ovations.
"Any time you talk to a group of farmers and you can proudly declare to them that for every regulation that's been put into place, they've removed 22, that's a very positive sign", Johansson said, adding that he hopes the administration will continue its work to ease regulations "that overpower our own decision-making on the farm".
In a lighthearted moment, Trump told the crowd, "Oh are you happy that you voted for me".
He plans to thank the president for his agriculture appointments and tax reform that have been beneficial to farmers, then launch into farmers' anxieties over trade and immigration.
One order tells federal agencies to "seek to reduce barriers to capital investment, remove obstacles to broadband services". The designation will offer more protection and resources to the site, such as park rangers, and federal grants for educational programming, according to White House officials.
Trump explained how the tax bill allows companies to write off the full cost of new equipment, which means that more money stays on the farm.
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