It’s Time To Turn The Page On Election 2016 [Opinion]

Congratulations to Donald Trump on his victory. I am sure there are equal parts of you who are happy, sad, or bewildered about the outcome of the hard-fought race.

While we might disagree about the result, I think we can all agree there has not been a crazier Presidential election in our lifetimes. I would count myself in the bewildered category, as I had very deep reservations about both candidates.

But, the people have spoken. And no, the election was not “rigged.” We are left with a country that is very divided. In some ways, that divide splits between urban and rural communities. Just look at the election results map. The split between the country and city is pretty clear. For those of us involved in agriculture, that is an important divide and one we can’t ignore moving forward.

Supporters of Trump would do well by avoiding victory laps. And those who opposed him should take heart that the sky is not falling. I recall vividly many people saying the election of President Obama was the end of America as we know it. Eight years later, we are still here, and four or eight years from now, we will still be here.

How do you feel about the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

That’s because we have a strong Constitution and representative republic that is protected by checks and balances. So, we now turn to Trump to see if he can deliver on his slogan of “Make America Great Again.” He has a tremendous responsibility to humble himself and seek to heal the divide that cuts deep into our political psyche. He must leave his often crass rhetoric behind and lead.

What will President-elect Trump mean for agriculture? On the face of it, his “build a wall” position does not bode well for one of our biggest challenges — farm labor. But, maybe, his business background will lend his ear to grower concerns over having access to a legal, reliable agricultural workforce. Perhaps he can take the lead on developing a larger, more user-friendly replacement to H-2A. And, while we are wishing, why not ask for meaningful immigration reform that takes agriculture’s needs into account?

Mr. Trump has the White House and Republicans have the Congress. They are in a position to lead, and they must. For too long gridlock and politics as usual have paralyzed our government. The result of that has been the big problems waiting at our doorstep have been kicked down the road. Problems like our debt, which was about $10 trillion in 2008. Today, it is $20 trillion.

During the FFVA’s recent annual convention, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam made a good observation during his speech about what happens when elected officials choose not to lead and settle for gridlock. When that happens, as it has for many years now, the job of making laws and policy gets passed off to federal agencies like EPA, DOL, and others. You know full well the impact of federal agencies meddling in your businesses.

Trump’s election also taught us an important lesson as we seek to bridge the divide between farming and urban communities. The simplicity of messaging is critical. Think “Make America Great Again,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Lying Ted,” etc.

In the fast paced, social-media driven world we live in, there is not much room for nuanced arguments based in facts or science. It is sad, but true. The good news is agriculture’s message is simple and powerful and will remain true no matter who is President.

“We feed and clothe the world.”

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “It’s Time To Turn The Page On Election 2016 [Opinion]

Citrus Stories
honeybees
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Webinar Series Highlights New Research on Honeybee Health
National Pollinator Week webinar showcases research to improve honeybee colony health by 2020. Read More
stack of lemons
Citrus
May 23, 2017
California Lemon Growers Sue USDA
Lemon industry files suit against rule allowing importation of Argentine lemons. Read More
Bee Vectoring Technologies experimental hives
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Insects (Bad and Good) Make for Interesting Field Trips
Disease-fighting bees and the deadly citrus psyllid were at the center of two recent, research-fueled out-of-office adventures. Read More
Tango mandarin orange sliced in half
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 23, 2017
In Quest for Low-Seeded Citrus, It Takes Two to Tango
Momentum for viable mandarin hybrids for Florida reaching a peak in the land down under. Read More
Citrus
May 20, 2017
Short on Water, Florida Growers Know How to Dig Down Deep
Through drought, smoke and brush fires, it’s plain to see you farmers have been doing your part to conserve and preserve one of our most precious resources. Read More
seattle port shipping
Citrus
May 20, 2017
USDA Creates Undersecretary for Trade
Reorganization puts trade, farm production as top priorities for the agency. Read More
2017 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Ed Pines
Citrus Achievement Award
May 18, 2017
Meet the 2017 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award Winner
Cheers to Ed Pines for putting the positive back in citrus. Read More
Sugar Belle oranges
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 18, 2017
Unique Citrus Variety Standing Up to Deadly Disease
University of Florida researchers are peeling back the layers to find out what’s helping specific mandarin hybrid hold serve against HLB. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
First California Red Scale Aerosol Mating Disruption Product Approved
EPA, California officials grant Semios approval of pheromone pest control solution for widespread citrus problem. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
EPA Seeks States’ Input On Waters of the U.S. Rule
As the agency considers scaling back the water rule, states are asked to define protected waters. Read More
Orie Lee, 2015 Citrus Achievement Award winner
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Florida Citrus Innovator Passes Away at 90
Orie Lee spent half his life cultivating the industry he cared deeply for. Read More
Burn ban sign posted along S.R. A1A in Flagler County, FL, due to drought conditions
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Drought Conditions Deepen Across Central Florida
Water Shortage Warning Order expanded to all counties within St. Johns River Water Management District. Read More
Citrus
May 11, 2017
Late Season Rally in Forecast for Florida Orange Crop
Latest estimate from USDA reveals first increase in several months; grapefruit continues to sour. Read More
Citrus
May 9, 2017
Barn Owls Can be an Effective Control for Rodents and Gophers
The predators are already getting results in vineyards and orchards. Research is showing they’re just as effective in vegetable and fruit fields. Read More
Citrus
May 5, 2017
USDA Angers California Lemon Growers
Industry leaders extremely disappointed by Argentine lemon rule. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
May 25, 2017
Are We Overstating the World’s Ove…
If growers can’t achieve a fair return on investment and stay in business, it won’t matter what the population is in 2050. We all will be trouble. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2017
Falcons Scare off Other Birds at Duncan …
It collaborates with a firm that uses trained falcons to intimidate and scare off nuisance birds such as the horned larks and pigeons that frequent the area. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Search is on For Next Crop of Florida Ag…
Nomination period now open for longtime industry honor. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Webinar Series Highlights New Research o…
National Pollinator Week webinar showcases research to improve honeybee colony health by 2020. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
California Lemon Growers Sue USDA
Lemon industry files suit against rule allowing importation of Argentine lemons. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Insects (Bad and Good) Make for Interest…
Disease-fighting bees and the deadly citrus psyllid were at the center of two recent, research-fueled out-of-office adventures. Read More
Citrus
May 20, 2017
Short on Water, Florida Growers Know How…
Through drought, smoke and brush fires, it’s plain to see you farmers have been doing your part to conserve and preserve one of our most precious resources. Read More
Citrus
May 20, 2017
USDA Creates Undersecretary for Trade
Reorganization puts trade, farm production as top priorities for the agency. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
First California Red Scale Aerosol Matin…
EPA, California officials grant Semios approval of pheromone pest control solution for widespread citrus problem. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
EPA Seeks States’ Input On Waters of the…
As the agency considers scaling back the water rule, states are asked to define protected waters. Read More
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Florida Citrus Innovator Passes Away at …
Orie Lee spent half his life cultivating the industry he cared deeply for. Read More
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Drought Conditions Deepen Across Central…
Water Shortage Warning Order expanded to all counties within St. Johns River Water Management District. Read More
Citrus
May 11, 2017
Late Season Rally in Forecast for Florid…
Latest estimate from USDA reveals first increase in several months; grapefruit continues to sour. Read More
Citrus
May 9, 2017
Barn Owls Can be an Effective Control fo…
The predators are already getting results in vineyards and orchards. Research is showing they’re just as effective in vegetable and fruit fields. Read More
Citrus
May 5, 2017
USDA Angers California Lemon Growers
Industry leaders extremely disappointed by Argentine lemon rule. Read More
Citrus
April 29, 2017
Florida Ag Commissioner Pushes for Probe…
With a focus on Mexico, letter sent by Adam Putnam to the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary stresses need for level playing field. Read More
Citrus
April 28, 2017
EPA Approves New Plant Growth Stimulant
RIO from Arysta LifeScience North America is labeled for use on citrus, vegetables, tree fruit, strawberries, grapes, and nuts. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
The California Citrus Grower Defines Lea…
While HLB wreaked havoc elsewhere, the California citrus industry came together and formed an action plan. Read More