Ag News

Trump announces plans to expand broadband in rural areas

While speaking to 7,400 farmers and ranchers at American Farm Bureau’s 2018 convention on Jan. 8, President Donald Trump outlined his administration’s plans to strengthen the rural economy of America and received at least four standing ovations for what he had to say. Trump highlighted the historic role farmers have played in founding our country, protecting its freedoms and ensuring our country's economic success.

“Since inauguration day we have been working as hard for farmers as you work. This nation was made by farmers, won by farmers,” Trump said. “You embody the values of hard work, grit, self-reliance and sheer determination that we need to make America great again.”

Trump reminded his audience that he established a task force to address issues facing rural America last April that has been led by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“I’ve received their report and that is why in a few minutes I will take the first steps to expand broadband access in rural America. It will give you better and faster internet access.”

Following his speech, Trump signed two executive orders that fund and streamline the expansion of broadband access across the rural U.S. 

“We’re streamlining and expediting requests to locate broadband facilities in rural America. Supporting broadband tower facilities in rural America and federal properties managed by the Department of the Interior. Those towers are going to go up, and you’re going to have great, great broadband,” Trump said.

Trump said his administration is proposing infrastructure reforms to make sure rural communities have access to the best highways and roads that will be built under budget and ahead of schedule.

The president also discussed labor, trade and his commitment to reigning in federal regulations.

“My administration is in the process of rolling back a rule that hit our farmers terribly hard – the Waters of the United States Rule. It sounds so nice. It sounds so innocent, and it was a disaster. People came to me about it and they were crying - men who were tough and strong; women who were tough and strong – because I gave them back their property. I gave them back their farms. We ditched the rule.”

Trump said the pending farm bill would continue to provide a safety net for farmers who are going into their fifth year of low commodity prices.

“I’m looking forward to working with Congress to pass the farm bill on time and I’m looking forward to passing a bill with crop insurance,” Trump said. “We’re working to bring hope and prosperity to rural communities.”

Trump acknowledged controversy over the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements that account for about 25 percent of U.S. ag revenues.

“To level the playing field for all of our farmers and ranchers as well as our manufacturers, we are reviewing all of our trade agreements,” he said.

He ended his speech with this popular phrase, “Farm country is God’s country.”