View from the Cab: Trump on Ag

December 5, 2016

 

As we wait for President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, many in the agricultural community are wondering what he will do for the industry.

 

After some time studying the facts, members of the Illinois Corn Growers Association have found some opportunities and challenges posed by a Trump presidency. Opportunities include a slowing of regulations and tax reform with the challenges listed as trade progress and budget reconciliation.

 

“Regulations affect a number of different industries and we need to be very careful,” said Illinois Corn executive director Rodney Weinzierl during the ICGA annual meeting in Normal last month.

 

Weinzierl urged those attending the meeting to keep a close eye on leadership in both the House and Senate and to be mindful of crop insurance and other programs.

 

In a Farm Futures story published in September, Trump said his administration would be pro-ag and that he would fight for farmers in this nation and their families. Trump admitted Mike Pence would serve as a trusted source of information on ag issues. According to Trump, he assembled an Agriculture Advisory Committee made up of dozens of individuals.

 

Information from ballotpedia.org indicates Trump discussed ag policy during a campaign stop in Iowa calling family farms the “backbone of this country.” Trump was quoted as saying he would end intrusion from the Environmental Protection Agency and protect the Renewable Fuel Standard. Trump called the Waters of the U.S. rule a “job-killing” regulation. He also said he would end the war on the American farmer.

 

Like House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump endorses crop insurance, according to a Politico report from last May. Trump supports separating the farm bill and the food stamp program saying agriculture is more about national security than it is about food.

 

We could spend all day wondering. Now we have to wait and see what agriculture will be like in the Donald Trump era. Those of us in ag are hopeful for solid leadership with no more partisan politics. Maybe our leaders can find ways to reach across the aisle to do what is best for rural America. This goes not only for those at the federal level but leaders at the state level as well.   

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