Cattle grazed in the background on Todd and Hope Cassebaum’s Baldwin County farm as they walked across the pasture talking to Alabama’s senior U.S. senator. The discussion focused on the future of their farm and the challenges they and other farmers face.
After listening closely, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told the Cassebaums their family and others are what make America great.
“You guys work hard every day, and you care about what you’re doing,” Shelby said. “It shows on your face, and it shows on your farm. I want you to know I appreciate what you’re doing for our country. We’re blessed to live in a nation with farmers that produce such an abundant supply of safe, delicious food, not just for our country but for the rest of the world, too.”
Shelby visited the Cassebaum’s farm in Lillian during a recent stop in south Alabama. Todd is a third-generation farmer there, and the couple’s son, August, is the fourth. Hope, who is Baldwin County Farmers Federation president, said talking to Shelby allowed her to share difficulties she and other farmers face.
“It’s important our elected leaders understand the special challenges of farming,” said Hope, who is a graduate of the Agricultural Leaders For Alabama (A.L.F.A.) program. “When our leadership group visited Sen. Shelby in Washington, he was interested in what we had to say. Todd and I are pleased he came to visit us on our farm, and he was genuinely interested in what we’re doing.”
The Cassebaums have a diversified row crop and beef cattle farm. While talking with Shelby on their farm, they shared their concerns about low commodity prices, high input costs and trade tariffs that affect their bottom line.
Shelby used the farm tour as a learning opportunity, asking questions about the Cassebaums’ crops and cattle and to thank them and other Alabama Farmers Federation members for supporting him.
“I have a long history with the Farmers Federation,” Shelby said. “The Federation understands the importance of political involvement, and I appreciate the support of the organization all these years.”
The Federation endorsed Shelby, who is seeking re-election to his sixth term in the Senate. He was first elected to the Senate in 1986.
As a senior senator, Shelby enjoys positions on powerful committees including chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Federation President Jimmy Parnell said Shelby shares the same conservative values that farmers and rural Alabamians hold dear.
“Our country is at a critical juncture, and Sen. Shelby’s tenure will put him in the best position yet to stand strong during these troubling times,” Parnell said. “He has proven time and again he can be trusted to do what’s right for Alabama and our nation.”