By Zippy Duvall
President, American Farm Bureau Federation
By the end of this week, our nation will have a new president. The presidential inauguration is a civic celebration, not a political one. Whether you voted for Mr. Trump or not, this is a time to celebrate our great nation and the peaceful transfer of power. It’s also a time to pray that our leaders will have the strength and guidance they need to protect and lead our nation.
The American Farm Bureau Federation looks to this Friday with a great deal of excitement. We anticipate opportunities to move forward on some of our biggest policy goals, including regulatory reform and tax reform. But it’s important to remember that change will not happen overnight. The president must work with Congress to get things done. Our expectations are realistic, but we are admittedly hopeful. Even on those issues where we have some work to do to make our case to the new administration, including immigration reform and trade, I believe agriculture will have a seat at the table and we’ll be able to make progress.
The biggest factor in our success on our priority issues is the grassroots Farm Bureau members across the country. We will need to continue to contact our members of Congress on each of the issues that affect farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to be productive and profitable. We cannot afford to sit back and trust that things will go our way, just because we think the new administration will look kindly on agriculture and rural America. We must be as active and engaged as ever.
Just as the presidential inauguration is a great American tradition, the active involvement of grassroots members is a Farm Bureau tradition. I look forward to celebrating the first and continuing the second.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.