INDIANAPOLIS – President Donald Trump entered the stage at the National FFA Convention shaking hands with students while “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood blared over speakers.
President Trump was a keynote speaker during the final general session Oct. 27.
His trip was completed less than two weeks before the midterm election.
Trump spent the first part of his speech addressing the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a hate crime occurred earlier on Saturday.
Eleven people were killed in the shooting; six were injured.
He invited a preacher and a rabbi to pray for peace in the wake of the synagogue violence. Afterwards, he hugged each of them.
“This wicked act of mass murder is pure evil, hard to believe and frankly, something that is unimaginable,” the president said. “Our nation and the world are shocked and stunned by the grief.
“This was an anti-Semitic act. You wouldn’t think this would be possible in this day and age. But we just don’t seem to learn from the past.
“Our minds just don’t understand the cruel hate and twisted malice that would cause a person to unleash such terrible violence during a baby naming ceremony. This was a baby naming ceremony at a sacred house of worship.”
After discussing the tragedy, he went on to thank the National FFA president, chairman, CEO, foundation president and teachers for their hard work.
Later in the ceremony he invited Congressmen Jim Banks and Trey Hollingsworth to the stage. He encouraged the audience to consider voting for them.
The remainder of his speech addressed agricultural issues including trade and E15. Here are a few highlights from the event.
“My administration is fighting for our farmers every single day. We are replacing unfair trade deals. If you look at farming over the last 15 years, it’s a steady decline. There’s no reason for it. There’s now going to be a steady incline. …
“We’re going to be opening new markets for your exports. We’re going to be eliminating job-killing regulations, which we’ve already done in record numbers. We will be ending oppressive federal intrusion.”
“We’ll be cutting your taxes, and just like I promised, we are ensuring that ethanol will remain a vital part of America’s energy future, at the absolute urging of your great Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.”
“My administration is working very hard to help all of our wonderful farmers in Georgia and the Florida panhandle impacted by the recent hurricane.
“I went there and I saw farmers. I was with Melania, our first lady, and we had cotton farmers, pecan farmers and timber farmers. These beautiful people were devastated.
“We’re going to help farmers out, and it’s going to be my honor to do it.”
“Nobody embodies the American spirit like the members of the FFA and, frankly, all of the people in this room today. Our nation was founded by farmers. …We really were about farming, and we still are about farming.
“Our independence was won by farmers. Our frontier was settled by farmers. Every day, our people are fed, clothed and sustained by the American farmer.”
“Before I took office our incredible farmers were being crushed by an onslaught of massive taxes, crippling regulations, burdensome federal mandates and unfair, one-sided bad trade deals. Those days are over.
“Now you have a president who is fighting for you, fighting now for the farmer. We want to take care of the globe, too. But we have to take care of ourselves before we start worrying about others.”
“We’re fighting very hard for a terrific farm bill that includes work requirements for food stamps. Don’t worry about the farm bill. The farm bill I could have signed three months ago. But we’re trying to make a good bill.”
“We recently announced that we are replacing NAFTA with the brand new USMCA that will increase exports for corn farmers in Indiana, wheat farmers in Kansas, dairy farmers in Wisconsin, poultry farmers in Georgia, and farmers and producers all across the country.
“As part of this tremendous victory for American farmers, Canada agreed to remove their massive trade barriers to the American dairy industry. …They were charging a 275 percent tariff, which basically said ‘don’t sell your product to Canada.’”