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Acadiana rice farmers raise concerns about tariffs and the government shutdown

Posted at 9:32 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 23:30:34-05

The government shutdown is affecting rice farmers in Acadiana. On Wednesday, Governor Jon Bel Edwards addressed the state’s rice farmers.

“I grew some soybeans this year and had some that were going to be eligible for the market access program, and because of the tariffs and since the government shut down, none of those resources are available to me,” Christian Richard said.

Farmers gathered to express their concerns about tariffs, their workers and the government shutdown.

“I want you to know that you have my full support as we work together to have a prosperous future for our farmers across the State of Louisiana,” Governor Edwards said.

Farmers say that tariffs and the possible continuance of the government shutdown are having negative effects.

“Rice growers export approximately 70% of our production to an international partner. Tariffs and trade agreements are really critical in how those things are maintained for how we got the products we produce here in Louisiana, out and abroad,” Richard Fontenot expressed.

Some farmers are even concerned about their documented workers who are currently in Mexico, being able to return ahead of the season.

“We don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican as long as you are doing what’s right for the American people,” Jeffery Sylvester said.

WIth President Trump coming to address farmers in New Orleans next week, farmers are hopeful he is coming with solutions.