January 28, 2021

Ag groups condemn Capitol violence

WASHINGTON — Just a day after a large group of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed through the halls of the U.S. Capitol, several agriculture groups publicly condemned the violence.

Five people died and others were injured as Trump supporters stormed up the steps and into the Capitol building. The U.S. House and the U.S. Senate were in session for a final count of and a certification of the Electoral College vote.

Members of Congress and aides were moved to safety as the mob threatened to break into the chambers where lawmakers were meeting.

“National Farmers Union and its members support all Americans’ right to free speech and peaceful protest, but these acts of intimidation and terror have no place in this country, and they cannot be condoned or brushed aside,” said Rob Larew, president of National Farmers Union, in a statement issued just hours after the attack on the Capitol occurred.

“More than that, this event demonstrates just how fragile democracy truly is. It doesn’t exist simply because it is written in the Constitution; it requires action on the part of every American. Every day, we must commit anew to upholding its core tenets of social equality, personal liberty, sovereignty, and a peaceful transfer of power.

“Following today’s riot, the Farmers Union family redoubles our dedication to these ideals and to the constant progress of this country we hold so dear.”

On Jan. 7, the NFU followed up on social media.

“After condemning yesterday’s violent attack on the Capitol, we have gotten plenty of feedback that we should ‘stay in our lane.’ But the thing is, the integrity of our democracy affects everyone — farmers included,” the NFU said on its Twitter account @NFUDC.

More Reaction

“All of us at the American Farm Bureau Federation are saddened by the events that took place in Washington,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president, in a statement.

“Our democracy is precious, and our dedication to the peaceful transfer of power is what sets us apart from much of the rest of the world. This nation was founded on the belief that we can debate our differences without resorting to violence. Storming the U.S. Capitol — or any federal building — and threatening the lives of police officers, first responders and elected leaders is not the answer.

“We must come together, not as farmers or city dwellers or suburban families, but as Americans, and put aside the bitterness that has divided us and rally behind the principles that unite us.”

“The National Milk Producers Federation congratulates incoming President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and we applaud the culmination of the democratic process achieved at the U.S. Capitol early this morning under previously unimaginable circumstances,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.

“Yesterday’s reprehensible violence was an attack on our democracy, intended to undermine the results of a free and fair election and desecrate the sovereign will of the American people. Peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our society; yesterday’s insurrection put thousands of lives in danger in a brazen mob attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power that has marked our country since its founding and has always set apart the United States as an example to the rest of the world. We are grateful to the many professionals who kept our friends, colleagues and fellow citizens safe during this trying ordeal.

“We emphatically reject the rhetoric of elected officials whose words encouraged and perpetuated yesterday’s assault on our democracy. And we pledge to do our part to work with the Biden administration and Congress to move our country forward this year, always supporting the democratic ideals that remain the foundation of these United States.”

The American Soybean Association acknowledged the violence at the Capitol in its weekly news roundup, “eBean News,” on Jan. 7.

“Despite the historic, harmful events at the U.S Capitol this week, Congress pushed through the night to achieve significant political developments as the country approaches Inauguration Day at the end of January,” it said.

“The House and Senate reconvened after the violence at the U.S. Capitol yesterday and completed the process of electoral vote certification, with Vice President Pence announcing the 306-232 vote count in President-elect Biden’s favor. President Trump has since announced that an ‘orderly transition’ of the federal government will proceed less than two weeks from now on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.”

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor