Farm Bureau state presidents, others meet with Trump, Pence, Perdue, Doud
In a sign of political concern about the Trump administration’s trade policies, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Chief Agriculture Negotiator Gregg Doud met with three state Farm Bureau presidents and other farm group leaders Wednesday.
Texas President Russell Boening, Illinois President Richard Guebert and American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott VanderWal, who is also president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, “told the president and vice president that they needed open markets soon,” Farm Bureau said.
Trump’s appearance was unscheduled, but the commander-in-chief said he wanted to stop by to express his appreciation for agriculture, as well as his broad support for rural America, Farm Bureau said.
Farm Bureau said the meetings included representatives of several agricultural organizations in addition to Farm Bureau, covering row crops, dairy and livestock, and specialty crops, but did not list the names of the groups or the names of the representatives. Farm Bureau also did not discuss the reactions of Trump administration officials to their statements.
“Farmers and ranchers are counting on the administration to fight for strong trade deals that expand our markets — now more than ever as we face the worst farm economy in 12 years,” Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said. “This White House has been the most ag-focused in recent memory, and we are grateful to have a seat at the table with our nation’s leaders to discuss the importance of agriculture to our rural economies and the importance of trade to farmers and ranchers across the country.”