Trump Touts Rural Broadband Initiative, Farm Agenda

January 9, 2018

President Donald Trump Monday unveiled a major initiative designed to strengthen a rural economy that has lagged urban areas in recovery from the recession of 2007-2008. Trump signed two executive orders that fund and streamline the expansion of rural broadband access after an address to 7,400 farmers and ranchers gathered at American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Convention in Nashville.

White House agriculture aide Ray Starling said, “High-speed internet should remain a high priority for the administration.” The report urges faster federal permitting for broadband internet expansion in rural areas and for eased rules for providers to place cell towers on federal lands.

In addition to economic development, Trump touched on issues of particular importance to agriculturists such as regulations, labor and trade. He praised farmers for their enduring values. “We are witnessing a new era of patriotism, prosperity and pride—and at the forefront of this exciting new chapter is the great American farmer.” Farmers, Trump said, “embody the values of hard work, grit, self-reliance and sheer determination.”

“In every decision we make, we are honoring America’s proud farming legacy,” Trump said.

The president spent much of his address decrying the costs of excessive regulation and tallying the rules his administration has moved to eliminate.

“We are also putting an end to the regulatory assault on your way of life. And it was an assault,” he said. Trump singled out the Waters of the United States rule, now being withdrawn following an executive order he signed in the first weeks of his administration. “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 and I gave them back their farms. We ditched the rule.”

Trump acknowledged controversy over the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements that account for roughly a quarter of U.S. agriculture 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. “On NAFTA I am working very hard to get a better deal for our farmers and ranchers and manufacturers.”

Trump promised the farm bill would continue to provide a safety net for farmers who are now entering their fifth year of declining incomes. “I look forward to working with Congress to pass the farm bill on time so that it delivers for all of you, and I support a bill that includes crop insurance,” he said.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall said Trump’s visit marked a watershed in D.C. politics.

“Farmers and ranchers have too long faced burdensome regulations,” Duvall said. “This president understands the toll government overreach has taken on ordinary business and is moving swiftly to clear the way for prosperity. We are moving into yet another year of economic difficulty. Relief could not have come at a better time.”

Photos for, click to enlarge.


6 Responses to “Trump Touts Rural Broadband Initiative, Farm Agenda”

  1. Johnny Freedom on January 10th, 2018 3:04 pm

    What it means is that service providers can gouge you for whatever fees they desire, not to mention fees on small businesses whose websites they host. If you can’t pay, you can’t play. This trickle down garbage didn’t work when Reagan pushed it and it’s not working now. The rich continue to get richer and if the little guy doesn’t see any benefit, well pal, sorry, maybe if you’d tried harder. The gap widens and the decades of institutionalized class warfare on the working class continues.

    I’m in my mid-30s. I work 60 some odd hours a week, I make a decent living, I live fairly simply, and yet I still live paycheck to paycheck and rent my home. Let me be clear, I have taken 2 unemployment checks in my life, I don’t rely on social services. I believe that everyone has a right and duty to work. I know too many people that destroy themselves working 3 jobs and still have to rely on government services to make ends meet. I’m not talking about levelling the playing field, I’m just asking for a fighting chance. People can’t say they work for a living anymore, they can just say they work to exist.

  2. Jim on January 10th, 2018 9:11 am

    @ Johnny Freedom: “Net Neutrality” is just another nice sounding name for a devious and harmful program initiated by the previous administration. It caters to the UN, gives control over the Internet regulation to government, and to International groups. Don’t let the Democrat propaganda machine tell you what to think. Net neutrality programs would have allowed the Socialists that dominate the UN control over what you could or couldn’t do on the internet, and much like the show called Affordable Care Act that no one could afford, it would have stifled and strangled innovation. That’s one of the great things about our capitalistic economy: manufacturers and producers or most innovative when they are in competition with one another, and, yes, looking toward being profitable. Keeping this in mind, you will see that your president and mine, President Trump is doing all he can to help those who have to work and earn a living.

  3. Johnny Freedom on January 9th, 2018 12:52 pm

    @Ponderosa Hill

    I’ve dug more than a few ditches, I can swing a hammer pretty well too. If by “for the people,” you mean “white, upper class men,” then yes, he is “for the people.”


    My family up until my parents’ generation were cotton and corn farmers. He wants to help bring broadband internet to rural areas but also rescind Net Neutrality? The man will speak out of both sides of his mouth in order to get what he wants. What happens to these farms when he removes enough environmental regulation that the farmland becomes useless?

    Everyone complains about regulation because nobody gives a damn about what happens to everyone else after their time on this Earth is over. They’d rather make a pile of money and let their kids deal with it. Now he wants to open up our coastlines to more drilling. Has everyone forgotten Deepwater Horizon? Madness.

  4. Ponderosa hill on January 9th, 2018 9:26 am

    @johnny free:
    Your words sure smell of liberal mindset… guess is you can’t stand
    it that we’ve a President that’s for the People. Ever dug a ditch yourself
    Johnny ?

  5. Jim on January 9th, 2018 9:08 am

    @Johnny Freedom: You don’t have to be a farmer to recognize how invaluable our American farmers and ranchers are. I’m not a farmer, but I am the descendant of farmers. You can’t deny that getting rid of unnecessary regulation that was strangling the livelihood of our rural economy is it a positive step. Efforts to make broadband Internet available across rural areas and farmlands will allow Farmers to make use of modern technology to become even more efficient and producfive. You don’t have to like the President to know that these are definite positives. The previous administration did everything they could to give large farming corporations the advantage over local cooperatives and individual farmers. It’s good to see this is being reversed.

  6. Johnny Freedom on January 9th, 2018 7:38 am

    This dude was born on third base and acts like he hit a triple.

    When has he ever gotten his hands dirty (Like, with actual dirt, not with shady business dealings or institutionalized racism)?

    The self-dubbed voice of the American Farmer was born the son of a wealthy real estate developer and has spent most of his life turning his nose up at the working class. He’d rather throw 20 stories of stucco, black marble, and gold mirrors on your farm than actually deal with the people that work the land.

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