President Donald Trump will be speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in New Orleans on Monday. The trip comes amid a partial shutdown of the federal government.
Richard Fontenot, a local rice farmer, who’s been active in the Louisiana Farm Bureau for 28 years, will be in attendance Monday. He says many farmers as well as Farm Bureau Members are looking forward to President Trump’s visit.
“It’s definitely a dynamic situation when you have the President coming and for me specifically as well as other producers and agriculture in Louisiana and have the President and his administration come visit and come share and give us the opportunity to visit with him and share our concerns as it relates to agriculture in Louisiana,” says Fontenot, Third Vice-President of the American Farm Bureau and Chairman of the Rice Research Board.
Fontenot says there’s been some challenging times in the agriculture industry in 2018.
“The President coming on top of that it just it shows us that there’s a collective cohesiveness within the administration as it relates to agriculture and we’re in trying times,” adds Fontenot.
Even though 2018 was a very difficult year for farmers, many are optimistic that 2019 will bring a little more prosperity along the way.
Fontenot explains, “At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to try and make agriculture sustainable in Louisiana and it appears this administration is doing everything it can to do that.”
Fontenot says the tariffs and the lack of Chinese sales in terms of exports accumulated and impacted farmers directly, but at the end of the day… there’s still optimism out there.
Fontenot says the farm bill congress recently passed provides a financial safety net for farm producers and their financial institutions.