Barack Obama is the next president: What does this mean for rural America?

Barack Obama has been elected president and rural America has spoken. Agricultural groups have congratulated the president-elect on his win and already laid out suggestions for his agricultural plan.

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman released a statement congratulating President-elect Obama and his thoughts regarding his campaign.

“Farmers and ranchers, like all Americans, have a list of issues that they expect the administration and Congress will address,” said Stallman.

He said the Farm Bureau’s issues include the economy, energy, immigration, trade, implementation of the Farm Bill and many others.

“We know there are many points of view on these issues, but we also know that our elected leaders have one thing in common: Each person elected to office ran for office to improve this country. We look forward to working with the new administration and Congress to create those opportunities that will improve agriculture and rural America,” said Stallman.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Tom Buis listed other challenges that face rural America.

“Agriculture faces many problems, including a worldwide recession that is hurting commodity prices, the need for regulatory reform that includes greater regulation of speculators in commodity futures market and more development of biofuels and green energy sources that will bring economic development to farms and rural areas,” said Buis.

Buis said the country is going to have a president who does want to work with rural America on these issues. And because Obama supported the Farm Bill, he said he believes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will implement the new law in the way intended by Congress.

Buis also said he’s relying on other farm groups “to organize an agricultural summit to look at ways to counter falling farm income.”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Andy Groseta laid out his own concerns.

“In the coming years, ranchers, farmers and rural Americans will be significantly impacted by tax policies, environmental regulations, international trade, renewable fuel subsidies, food safety and nutrition,” Groseta said. “NCBA worked closely with the Obama campaign on each of these concerns, and we have been assured a seat at the table when decisions are made regarding these and other issues of importance to America’s cattlemen and women.”

The National Corn Growers Association sent a similar message congratulating President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden and addressing its issues.

“We have appreciated Sen. Obama’s leadership on issues ranging from strong safety-net programs within the Farm Bill to the promotion of corn-based ethanol as an important source of domestic energy,” said NCGA President Bob Dickey.

NCGA’s main concerns are renewable fuels, trade and the implementation of the Farm Bill.

It seems that Obama will have a lot of different organizations to work with to help improve rural America. Which issues do you believe are the most important for America’s farmers? Please comment below.

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