ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- You are not forgotten". That was the theme of President Donald Trump's message to over 4,000 farmers and ranchers yesterday at the 99th annual American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in Nashville.
Trump told the cheering farmers he has their back on regulations and taxes, will get better and faster broadband access for rural America, will secure better trade deals with other countries and will get the new farm bill written on time and that bill will contain a crop insurance program that will work for farmers.
He also told the group that he will find the money to upgrade our infrastructure of rural roads, railroads and waterways to make rural America more efficient in getting goods to markets around the world. On immigration, Trump said we will end the chain migration and lottery system and "we will build the wall".
On regulations Trump said his administration has been very active. Since last January the amount of regulations in this country now only takes 60,000 pages to list, down from 100,000 when he took office. And he said for every 1 regulation that is now put in place, he has eliminated another 22. Following his speech, the president signed 2 executive orders calling for better and faster broadband across the country and to locate towers in more rural areas.
Trump was the first president in 25 years to address the Farm Bureau and he said he would be back next year for their 100th annual meeting.
Before President Trump took the stage, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue warmed up the crowd. He told the farmers and ranchers that his agency will continue to work on doing away with unneeded regulations and that his agency will give Congress some farm bill principles but will not write a version of a farm bill.
Perdue also got a standing ovation when he said one of the major accomplishments of the administration so far has been the rewrite of the Waters of the USA rule. He also assured Farm Bureau members that getting a successful outcome to the NAFTA talks was a top priority for both he and the president.
Meanwhile at the convention, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau has won a few awards. The state organization has been recognized for membership achievement and putting outstanding programs in place during 2017. State Farm Bureau President Jim Holte also received Awards of Excellence for Engagement and Outreach as well as Leadership and Business Development. The convention will end tomorrow.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has also named state Farm Service Agency state committees for all 50 states. In Wisconsin, the 5 person committee will be led by Lisa Condon of Horicon. Also on the state committee from our area will be Tom Gillis of River Falls.