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Farmers Thank Trump For Trade Deals

Farmers Thank Trump For Trade Deals
January 20, 2020 |

By Debra Davis

Alabama farmers joined others in thanking President Donald Trump for negotiating improved trade deals with China as well as Canada and Mexico during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 101st Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, Jan. 19.

For the third year in a row, Trump took to the stage at the convention where he was welcomed with a standing ovation and roaring applause from nearly 5,000 members of the nation’s largest farm organization.

“Having President Trump speak directly to our farmers lets us know he really does care about rural America and especially the farmers who feed and clothe not only our nation, but the world,” said Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell, who joined about 100 farmers from the state.

Trump said recent approval of the phase-one trade agreement with China as well as the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) fulfilled a promise he made to farmers early in his administration.

“My administration is fighting for the American farmer, and we’ve been fighting for the farmer every single day,” Trump said. “If we want to stand up for America, we must stand up for American farmers. We are winning for our farmers, and we are winning like never before.”

Trump’s successful trade negotiations were only part of the good news he shared with farmers. He also discussed removal of overreaching regulations carried out through administrative orders of the Obama administration.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reiterated that Trump supports American farmers.

“We all know that farming is tough, but our president is tough, too,” Perdue said. “You stood with President Trump, and he stood with you. You had his back, and he had yours.”

Baldwin County farmer Mark Kaiser, who serves on the Federation’s state board of directors, said hearing the president was an honor and inspiring. He said it also allows farmers to see what’s happening in agriculture across the nation and globally.

“I was very impressed with the meeting, especially the comments from the president,” said Kaiser, who grows peanuts, cattle, hay and cotton. “It finally seems like someone is listening to us. I’m excited.”

During the meeting, Alabama won Awards of Excellence in all four program areas of AFBF, including Advocacy, Engagement and Outreach, Leadership and Business Development, and Membership Value.

Alabama’s Young Farmers were well represented by state contest winners in national contests held at the convention. Lee County’s Ellie Watson was a Sweet 16 finalist in the Discussion Meet. Hale County’s Luke Smelley competed in the Achievement Award, and Kim and Daniel Mullenix of Lee County were in the Excellence In Agriculture contest.

Sue, a heeler owned by Kim and Phil Slay of Chambers County, was runner up in the Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest highlighted at the meeting. Sue also won the People’s Choice Pup in a social media contest with online voting as part of the overall competition. Sue won bragging rights, a $50 gift card and Purina products, along with $1,000 for being a finalist. 

Held Jan. 17-21, the convention also included a trade show, workshops, farm tours, policy development meetings and elections.

The Alabama Farmers Federation is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 300,000 members. 

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