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Acadiana farmers weigh in on President Trump’s visit

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 22:46:54-05

President Donald Trump’s visit to New Orleans is sparking lots of conversation.

Trump addressing the 100th annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention.

The President spoke for roughly an hour at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave a shout out to the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees and the so-called fake news.

Aside from addressing farming, he covered a variety of other topics including the border wall and the government shutdown.

Trump said before he was elected, farming was going south. Now, he claims he’s putting America and farmers first.

“We’ve had so many good weeks and good days,” President Trump said. “It’s only going to get better because we’re doing trade deals that’s going to get you so much business, you’re not even going to believe it. Your problem will be we’re going to need more acreage immediately.”

The president touted the successful passing of the farm bill and offered support to farmers. He mentioned including improvements to crop insurance, increasing the amount farmers can borrow and working to keep family farms in the family.

“As we reverse the decades of unfair trade, we’re also providing up to $12 billion of relief for farmers to protect them from retaliation,” said Trump.

Allen McLain, Junior a rice farmer from Vermilion Parish said, “He’s going to help us by keeping the mindset that he is steadfast that we as a nation survive off of the farming industry.”

Christian Richard is also a Vermilion Parish farmer. He said, “The President has been under a lot of pressure lately with the government shutdown and it’s affecting us, but I think some of these things are necessary.”

Richard said his farm has not received some payments for his soybean crop and several of his neighbors are struggling to get loans. Despite that, he says the President reinforced hope in his work.

“A lot of the decisions we make are made through reports issued from the government. If there is no one there to formulate some of those reports, we have a hard time with our planning moving forward,” Richard said.

Though the President was in New Orleans to address farming and ranching, he spent roughly 30 minutes of his address focusing on the border wall.

“I’m going to build the wall and it’s just one of many things I promise,” Trump said.

The farmers we spoke with believe migrant workers and immigrants are important to the industry.

“It seems like the president wants these workers that are going to come through the proper channels and he wants that to happen. I think he doesn’t want to keep them out and that hit home with me,” Richard said.

Mclain said, “Everything we heard was very eye opening and reinforcing of everything he said he would continue to do and we’re very appreciative.”

The President wrapped up his speech by saying, “The greatest harvest for these farmers is yet to come.”