01/19/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/19/2020 22:25
AUSTIN-At the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, President Donald Trump proudly touted the passage of the new North American trade deal.
Idaho Farm Bureau member Neil Durrant and wife Melissa of the Big D ranch of Meridian watched from the second row.
'We had a great evening listening to President Trump,' said Durrant. 'He talked about the trade deals, USMCS, China and Japan. The President also talked about the Administration slashing regulations so we can continue to farm for decades to come,' said Durrant.
A large Idaho delegation attended the AFBF Annual meeting and crammed the convention center with thousands of fellow farmers and ranchers from all 50 states. Idaho Farm Bureau President Bryan Searle and wife Mary met briefly with the President before the speech, more than 6,000 members were in attendance.
'This is where people are known for being tough and strong and hardworking, loyal, fiercely patriotic, just like America's incredible farmers,' President Trump told the crowd.
The new trade agreements negotiated fiercely by the Trump Administration, are considered by farmers and ranchers a win not only in Idaho but across the nation. Trump says the final trade documents are in the works.
'It's being prepared now, beautifully prepared,' Trump said of the legislation, which he is expected to sign this week. 'Everyone wants to come back to America.'
The US, Mexico and Canada trade deal was the last major piece of legislation the Senate took up ahead of Trump's impeachment trial, which is taking a back seat to the excitement of the trade deals at the AFBF convention.
'And what do I get for it, said Trump, I get impeached! But that's OK the farmers are sticking with Trump,' he added.
Trump also talked extensively about immigration and border security in the warmly received, hour-long speech. The President said the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, 'is being built and at a very rapid pace.'
But Trump also stressed that farmers and ranchers need a viable labor force.
'We want them to come legally, and we want them to help the farmers,' Trump said. 'Just so you understand, I want them coming to help the farmers.'
The President acknowledged the sacrifice farmers had to endure because of the new trade policies but promised: 'the best days for Americans and the best days for farmers and ranchers are yet to come.'
'Thank you very much to the farmers and ranchers for staying with me, and for saying, 'the President is right,' Trump said. ''Yes, it's tough right now, but the president is doing the right thing.''
The Durrants had VIP access passes at the AFBF Convention and that landed them front and center just feet from the President.
'It's probably the closest we'll ever get to the president. We were second-row center stage! We're grateful to the Farm Bureau for all the exciting things we get to do with them,' said Durrant.