Trump and Agriculture

August 18, 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

This has been an interesting and politically active week – especially for agriculture.  On Monday, the CEO Council met with Sam Clovis, National Chief Policy Advisor for Donald Trump’s campaign, and Charles Herbster, National Ag Chairman for Trump.  The CEO Council is a group of about 12 CEOs of leading farm and agriculture associations.  In that meeting, we had “Zippy” Duvall (American Farm Bureau President), Jay Vroom (CropLife), Chuck Conner (National Council Farmer Coops), and others, including yours truly.  The whole objective was to make sure the Trump Campaign understood the concerns and priorities of our industry. No question that the hot issues that we care about were put on the table.  Trade, immigration, tax reform, and regulations were discussed at length.    

Sam Clovis said that Trump was very much aware of how important ag trade is for the ag industry and for our national security.  He also understood how necessary it is to have the labor to do much of the farm work.  “We are not going to get the strawberries picked without immigrant labor.  Our own workers are not going to do it.”  

We agreed that we need tax reform and that government over-regulation must be reined in.  I think that we got our message across and that it was well received.  

Three weeks ago, the CEO Council also met with the Hillary Clinton Policy Team.  I was not in that meeting, but am told that the CEO Council’s message was well received by the Clinton Policy Team as well.  

Both meetings were non-partisan and I believe that the ag industry’s effort to communicate to both parties about our concerns and priorities is to be commended.  

The next day, the Trump Ag Team (more than 60 ag industry leaders) supporting Trump, met with Sam Clovis to discuss policy and politics.  The Trump Ag Team includes a who’s who list of ag leaders – some Governors, such as Rick Perry (Texas), Dave Heineman (Nebraska), Senators, including Pat Roberts (Kansas), and trade association presidents.  I participated as a member of the Trump Ag Team.  

We talked about all of the same issues that were talked about in the CEO meeting the day before.  However, in this meeting, the Trump Ag Team meeting, we also talked about how the ag industry can help Donald Trump.  

Stay tuned!  

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend. Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.