Clements: A new American Farm Bureau Federation poll shows 84 percent of Americans trust the nation’s farmers and the same overwhelming majority support financial assistance from the government for farmers struggling because of the pandemic. Terri Moore, AFBF Communications Vice President, says the poll shows Americans recognize the needs of farmers.
Moore: What the results tell us is really heartening. It tells us that the American people saw the challenges in the food system and saw surplus on farms and surplus milk, and the challenges that went with it, they recognized that farmers and ranchers aren’t to blame for that. Their trust in farmers and ranchers is still very, very high.
Clements: The poll also reveals that a majority of Americans, 59 percent, believe the federal government should classify U.S. agriculture as a matter of national security.
Moore: In America, we’ve rarely had reason to worry about food because of its abundance. So, when suddenly you see empty grocery store shelves, that can be very jarring. Knowing that a majority of Americans believe the federal government should classify agriculture as a matter of national security tells you they understand the importance.
Clements: The poll comes as AFBF calls on Congress to address the existing critical needs of farmers.
Moore: Hopefully, it gives lawmakers a strong indication that they’re on the right track with CFAP and some of the other programs that the government has offered. But, also should send a signal that the farmers who were left out of the first round and who are experiencing losses after April 15, when the cutoff date is, also deserve help and consideration.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.