Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 19 October 2018

Trump to address US farmers amid falling farm profits and immigration issues

U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

US President Donald Trump will address farm and ranch families from across the nation at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 99th Annual Convention this week in Nashville.

It comes as an explosive new book on Trump claims the US President was “horrified” by his election win, his wife Melania was in tears and his friends believe he is “crazy”.

While the American Farm Bureau Federation said it is "honored to host our nation’s president,” one of the mainstays of Trump's policy has been a crackdown on immigration, which could impact the US agricultural sector as it's heavily reliant on immigrants for labour, with as many as seven in 10 farm workers undocumented according to the Farm Bureau.

Trump has said previously that his immigration clampdown would not affect US farmers and this week he's expected to address the issue.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall, a beef and poultry farmer from Georgia, reminded Trump in advance of the convention that Trump said he would "make sure agriculture has a seat at the table when it comes to the top issues facing America’s farmers and ranchers. Now, it is our privilege to reserve a spot for him at our podium.”

Duvall considers President Trump’s announced speech as a sign of the high regard in which the nation’s chief executive holds America’s farm and ranch families.

“Farmers and ranchers and our rural communities are the bedrock of our nation. President Trump knows that, and his willingness to devote his time to talk directly with Farm Bureau members will be a memorable occasion,” Duvall said.

After three consecutive years of decline in farm sector profits, President Trump will speak to Farm Bureau members during a period of prolonged economic challenge across farm country. Profits have fallen and many farmers have seen declines in equity.

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Though the Agriculture Department forecasts that farm profits will be relatively stable in 2017, action on key issues on the president’s agenda could help farmers turn the corner as they head into the new year.

“President Trump is fully aware of the economic difficulties farmers and ranchers have gone through these past few years,” Duvall said. “The economic issues he has outlined, including reform of our nation’s tax and regulatory systems, match many of the issues on Farm Bureau’s agenda.”


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