Trump on 'Farm Country'
January 17, 2018
President Trump affirmed to applause, "Farmers always lead the way," at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th annual convention meeting this last week in Nashville, Tenn. The American dream is soaring back to life, he continued. It is a dream that we all hope for, the dream that with enough hard work we can obtain a free and financially rewarding life. However, in many rural communities, poverty and abandonment of generational farms is growing. The United States Department of Agriculture conducted a census in 2012 that over 150,000 farmers have left the trade since 2007 alone.
In his first year in the oval office, the President has taken measures to revitalize farms and other small businesses. Important actions are being taken to insure the family farmer will thrive again.
Action has been taken on historic tax cuts, crop insurance and other critical areas. According to Trump, the U.S. had one of the highest tax rates in the developed world for businesses. Recently passed tax reform has dropped those from up to 35 percent to a flat rate of 21 percent, along with an increased tax deduction for new equipment purchases.
Within the new tax plan, the estate tax has been completely eliminated. Now it will be easier for farmers to keep their farms in the family with the removal of the estate tax. The passing of a loved one will be less tragic by removing thousands, if not millions, of potential dollars of burdensome taxation to the federal government. The EPA, FDA and other federal organizations have fought farmers with countless regulations. Now, Trump said, “we’re fighting for our farmers and we’re fighting for our country.” Within the first 11 months of the administration 1,500 regulatory actions have been cut, more than any president in the history of the United States. Statistically, 22 regulations have been wiped from the books for every new regulation added. Additionally, the harmful Waters of the United States rules were taken out to pasture. This gives property owners back their right to use their lands how they intend. This is the type of action needed for farmers, ranchers and all business alike. It’s a Republican phenomena to reduce this type of government overreach. If the Democrats had their way, they would reinstate every regulation that burdens our economy.
Speaking with Sara Wyant from Agri-Pulse, Trump promised development of a new farm bill and NAFTA agreement. NAFTA is being reviewed for the benefit of our farmers and manufacturers. Unequal trade and commodity prices and tariffs are being negotiated along with bilateral trade deals involving new countries. He said work on a Farm Bill would aim to be completed by midterm elections, highlighting the fact that last year’s reduction of crop insurance should be reversed in order to bring more security to the American farmer.
Lastly, Trump stated that after his talk at AFBF he would immediately sign two executive orders that had been written by a taskforce of farmers. The orders will initiate a better and bigger broadband internet program. It will be expanded in rural America in order to create a level playing field for those in pastoral communities to aid vital information and business needs. This is part of the effort to rebuild crumbling rural infrastructure, needed for decades. With technological advancements, Trump also promised that new projects are underway in rural communities that will soon bring better roadways, railways and waterways.
Farmers are the basis of society. Trump understands this, closing his speech declaring, “farm country is God’s country.” Our state’s largest industry is agriculture and it must be sustained and promoted to flourish. Current and upcoming changes look promising for positive growth and give hope to rural America. While campaigning for the presidency Trump would describe farmers as the forgotten men and women of our nation. But now, he says, they are forgotten no more.