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April 25, 2017 | Elise Schafer

Learning Curve

Feed & Grain LIVE provides education on how President Trump's policies will impact you

No matter your political leanings, the election of President Donald Trump was a surprise to most. Some struggled to understand how that many Americans could cast their vote for a person so divisive. Some couldn’t believe the polls were so wrong. And others took to the streets in protest, denouncing him as the leader of the nation with the “not my president” movement.

But by now, the dust has settled and industry groups from all corners of the country are trying to work with the president on issues that matter to them. We certainly have a long way to go to get the president to see eye to eye with agriculture on trade. U.S. exports total around $130 billion in agriculture products per year and that figure had the potential to substantially increase with the Trans Pacific Partnership, but the United States left the table when Trump was elected. He’s also expressed contempt toward NAFTA, which has allowed us to easily export grain and other products to Mexico, one of the top two importers of U.S. corn.

However, I was encouraged listening to Juan Luciano, chairman and CEO of ADM, speak at the National Grain and Feed Association’s 121st Annual Convention about his recent meeting with the president. Luciano explained in his keynote address that he and a group of executives from major food and grain companies recently met in Washington, D.C. to talk about agriculture issues ranging from taxes and trade to infrastructure and recruiting the next generation. While it’s yet to be seen, Luciano, a self-described optimist, felt the president will try to move forward on trade negotiations with agriculture’s interests in mind.

On other fronts, like regulatory, President Trump is already on the same page as us and industry associations like NGFA and the American Feed Industry Association are eager to work with FDA and OSHA to relieve regulatory costs and burden. (However, both agencies’ directors are yet to be confirmed at the time of this writing.)

The turbulent landscape of today certainly isn’t easy on feed and grain business owners or managers. That’s why I’m inviting you to attend Feed & Grain LIVE in Altoona, IA, on May 31-June 2, 2017. This two and a half day educational conference is focused on how the new president’s administration will impact both your daily operations and your long-term strategy. See pg. 36 for more information on the event and the other important topics we will cover.

While no one knows what the future holds, the more time you spend educating yourself on the policies shaping your future, the better your business will be able to navigate the next several years. I hope to see you in Altoona!

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