BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) President Richard Guebert, Jr., Thursday met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during a campaign event for Congressman Mike Bost in O’Fallon.
Guebert spoke privately with Pence and voiced IFB’s concerns regarding the administration’s handling of trade agreements and tariffs.
“I told the Vice President we’ve had four or five years of tough economic times on the farm, and we have members who are probably going to have a tough time getting financing next year,” Guebert said. “The combines are probably 60 days away from hitting the field. It looks like we’re going to have a really good crop and that’s going to impact the prices.”
Guebert also stressed the importance of trade deals to young and beginning farmers who are often more affected by market swings and low commodity prices, and who might not have the capital to weather an extended farm economy downturn.
Guebert, who was one of only a handful of farmers attending the event, stressed the important role trade agreements play for Illinois farmers and called on the administration to move forward with negotiations on a series of bilateral trade agreements.
“I impressed on him that we need to get to the table, get the negotiations done and get these trade agreements sealed – bilateral agreements with Mexico, Canada, hopefully with Japan and the EU, so that agriculture can get back on its feet and do what it does best, which is provide food for the world,” Guebert said.
Guebert said the vice president confirmed he understood the urgency and pressure farmers are feeling.
“He said, ‘Rich, I got it. I’ll share it with the president this evening when I get back to D.C.’” Guebert said. “It was comforting when the vice president said, ‘Rich, I got it.’ He understands it and hopefully he carried the message back to the president. Will it have any impact? I can only hope.”
Contact: Rachel Torbert, Media Relations Manager
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