America just witnessed a presidential election like we’ve never seen before. As the dust settles and the nation gets back to business, we thought it might be insightful to provide some information regarding President elect Donald Trump’s take on agriculture.
Penton provided these questions and Mr. Trump responded.
Who will be your closest advisors in understanding more about the needs of rural America?
Trump: The Trump Administration will be a pro-agriculture administration. As president, I will fight for American farmers and their families. I am proud that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana will be our nation’s next vice president. Mike will be a trusted source of counsel for me on many issues, including agriculture. I have also assembled an Agriculture Advisory Committee comprised of dozens of leaders who represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities. Many of these officials have been elected by their communities to solve the issues that impact our rural areas every day. I’m very proud to stand with these men and women, and look forward to serving with them in serving all Americans from the White House.
The discussion now revolves around whom Trump has chosen to sit on his Ag Advisory Committee. The latest names are as follows:
Charles Herbster, chairman of the advisory committee, Angus cattle farmer, Falls City, Neb.; owner of The Conklin Company, a chemical marketing-distribution company in Kansas City, Mo., and owner of a cattle breeding operation in Northern Virginia.
Sam Clovis, national co-chair of the Trump campaign, professor at Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa.
Rebecca Adcock, senior director of government affairs, Crop Life America.
Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
Former Florida state Sen. J.D. Alexander, a Republican, former CEO of Atlantic Blue Group, Inc., a rural property company in central Florida, and of Alico Inc., and great-grandson of Napoleon B. Broward, governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909.
Jay Armstrong, operator of Armstrong Farms, Muscotah, Kan., former chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission and former chairman of the Farm Foundation.
Gary Black, Georgia agriculture commissioner.
John Block, former Agriculture secretary, senior policy adviser at OFW Law.
State Rep. Mike Brandenburg, R-N.D.
Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa, a Republican.
Charles Bronson, former secretary of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, a Republican.
Edwin Camp, farmer and chairman of Western Growers.
Chuck Conner, CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. Conner is scheduled to be a speaker at our 2017 Winter Innovation Forum on February 22. He is going to present an update on how the election of Trump will directly affect agriculture.
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, a Republican.
Former Michigan state Rep. Gene DeRossett, who also served as the Agriculture Department’s state director for Michigan.
Former Rep. Tom Ewing, R-Ill.
Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, a Republican.
Oklahoma state Sen. Eddie Fields, a Republican, chair of the state Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
Former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Ill.
Bill Flory, Idaho wheat farmer.
Steve Foglesong, former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, a Republican.
Bob Goodale, former CEO of Harris Teeter.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Michigan state Sen. Mike Green, a Republican.
Helen Groves, rancher, daughter of Robert Kleberg of King Ranch.
Ron Heck, Iowa farmer and past president of the American Soybean Association.
Former Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican.
Wyoming state Rep. Hans Hunt, member of the state House Agriculture Committee and rancher.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi commissioner of agriculture and commerce.
North Carolina state Sen. Brent Jackson, Brent, a Republican.
A.G. Kawamura, farmer and former California food and agriculture secretary.
John Kautz, CEO of Ironstone Vineyards, California.
Doug Keesling, grain and livestock farmer, Kansas.
Charlotte Kelley, cotton grower and ginner, Tennessee.
Mark Killian, farmer, rancher and Arizona state Agriculture commissioner.
Charles Kruse, farmer and former president of Missouri Farm Bureau.
Brian Klippenstein, executive director of Protect the Harvest.
Trent Loos, writer.
Forrest Lucas, CEO of Lucas Oil.
Mike McCloskey, CEO of Fair Oaks Farm.
Nebraska state Sen. Beau McCoy, a Republican.
Ted McKinney, former director of global corporate affairs, Elanco Animal Health and current Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture commissioner.
Jim Moseley, former Agriculture deputy secretary.
Missouri state Sen. Brian Munzlinger, Republican and chairman of the Missouri Senate Agriculture Committee.
Oklahoma state Sen. Casey Murdock, a Republican.
Tom Nassif, CEO of Western Growers.
Garry Niemeyer, former president of National Corn Growers Association.
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey.
Former Georgia Gov. Sonn Perdue, a Republican.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former state Agriculture commissioner.
Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Agriculture commissioner.
Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group.
Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese.
South Dakota state Sen. Larry Rhoden, former House majority leader and Senate majority whip; chair, Senate Agriculture Committee.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Marcus Rust, CEO of Rose Acre Farms, an Indiana egg producer.
Leslie Rutledge, attorney general or Arkansas and co-chair of the National Association of Attorney General Agriculture Committee.
David Spears, former member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Mike Strain, Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry commissioner.
Red Steagall, official cowboy poet of Texas.
Iowa state Rep. Annette Sweeney, former chair, Iowa House Agriculture Committee.
Kip Tom, CEO of Tom Farms, Indiana, and farmer in South America.
Johnny Trotter, CEO of BarG and Texas farmer.
Steve Wellman, former president of the American Soybean Association.
Walt Whitcomb, Maine agriculture commissioner.
Georgia state Sen. John Wilkinson, a Republican, member of the state Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
Fred Yoder, chair of the The North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance.
Source: The Hagstrom Report
Click here if you’d like to learn more about Trump’s possible Cabinet selections.
Agriculture has an estimated 2 million workers here illegally. How will you ensure the ag sector continues to remain viable and have access to needed workers? And what will be key components of your farm labor immigration policy?
Trump: I recognize the unique labor challenges facing the American farm community and will include farmers and ranchers in the process of determining the best possible immigration policies. To be clear, the Obama-Clinton system of open borders is wreaking havoc on our rural communities. Enormous stresses are being placed on state and local government services, while jobs for American citizens and wages for American workers are in decline.
Here are my three core principles of real immigration reform:
- A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
- A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
- A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.
Agriculture is very concerned about current costs and negative impact of over-regulation. How would you resolve that concern?
Trump: Our nation’s regulatory system is completely broken. Terrible rules are written by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who often know nothing about the people they are regulating. The regulators have all of the power, and our nation’s farmers are often forced to endure costly, burdensome and unwise regulations that are bad for American farmers and consumers. In many instances, extreme environmental groups have more influence in setting the regulations than the farmers and ranchers who are directly impacted.
As president, I will work with Congress to reform our regulatory system. We will reduce the power of government bureaucrats, and increase the freedom of our nation’s farmers to be as productive as possible. We will increase transparency and accountability in the regulatory process. Rational cost-benefit tests will be used to ensure that any regulation is justified before it is adopted. Unjustified regulations that are bad for American farmers and consumers will be changed or repealed. There will be no more “sue and settle” deals with extreme environmentalists.
Do you support the current Waters of the U.S. rule proposed by the Obama Administration? How do you plan to pursue this going forward?
Trump: No. I will eliminate the unconstitutional Waters of the U.S. rule, and will direct the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA to no longer use this unlawful rule and related guidance documents in making jurisdictional determinations. This rule is so extreme that it gives federal agencies control over creeks, small streams, and even puddles or mostly dry areas on private property. I will also ensure that these agencies respect the valid exclusions under environmental statutes for agricultural practices. As importantly, I will appoint a pro-farmer administrator of EPA.
How will your tax plan benefit farmers?
Trump: I have announced a comprehensive tax reform plan. Under my plan, we will:
- Simplify taxes for everyone and streamline deductions. Biggest tax reform since Reagan.
- Lower taxes for everyone, making raising a family more affordable for working families.
- Dramatically reduce the income tax.
- Simplify the income tax from 7 brackets to 3 brackets.
- Exclude childcare expenses from taxation.
- Limit taxation of business income to 15% for every business.
- Make our corporate tax globally competitive and the United States the most attractive place to invest in the world.
- End the death tax.
The U.S. Farm Bill will be written during the next presidency. What do you envision being its key components?
Trump: The Trump-Pence Administration will be an active participant in writing the next Farm Bill and delivering it on time! Our farmers deserve a good farm bill written by those who are thankful for our remarkable food system in this country. I support a strong safety net for our nation’s farmers.
U.S. agriculture heavily relies on trade. How will you protect agricultural trade while renegotiating trade deals?
Trump: As president, I will be an aggressive proponent for defending the economic interests of American workers and farmers on the world stage. I will fight against unfair trade deals and foreign trade practices that disadvantage the United States. I strongly oppose TPP as drafted and will work hard to develop trade agreements that are in the national interest and benefit American workers, including our farmers.
How do you anticipate encouraging policies that allow for protecting the environment while still protecting land owners’ rights and ability to use the land?
Trump: America is blessed with abundant natural resources and beautiful wildlife. Our nation has a proud tradition of conservation and stewardship. This is more true for farmers than anyone else. Farmers care more for the environment than the radical environmentalists. Regrettably, many of our federal environmental laws are being used to oppress farmers instead of actually helping the environment. For example, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has a poor track record of actually helping to recover animals at risk of extinction. In truth, the ESA has become a tool to block economic development, deny property rights to American landowners and enrich activist groups and lawyers, without actually helping those species that deserve protection. Instead of saving endangered species, the Obama-Clinton bureaucrats are endangering American workers with disastrous choices made at the whim of extreme activist groups.
As president, I will direct the Interior Department and Commerce Department to conduct a top-down review of all Obama Administration settlements, rules and executive actions under the Endangered Species Act and other similar laws, and we will change or rescind any of those actions that are unlawful, bad for American farmers and workers, or not in the national interest. I will also work closely with Congress to improve and modernize the Endangered Species Act—a law that is now more than 30 years old—so that it is more transparent, uses the best science, incentivizes species conservation, protects private property rights, and no longer imposes needless and unwarranted costs on American landowners.
With regard to property rights, it is also important to mention that I will appoint conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who will defend the constitutional rights and protections of all Americans.
We encourage you to keep a pulse on the transition of leadership between the Obama administration and team Trump. As your farmer-owned cooperative, we’ll provide information as it becomes available to us.
Remember, a great resource for industry updates and information is our Winter Innovation Forum. Registration will open closer to the event and we hope to see you there.
Interview answers pulled from Farm Progress