While many economic sectors have recovered from the economic downturn, the nation's rural areas have lagged in nearly every indicator, said Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for Agriculture, Agricultural Trade and Food Assistance on the National Economic Council. Chuck Fleischmann were among those accompanying the President to Nashville. Most of the task force's suggestions align with Trump's views.
Trump signed two executive orders that fund and streamline the expansion of rural broadband access after an address to 7,400 farmers and ranchers gathered at American Farm Bureau Federation's 2018 Annual Convention in Nashville.
"These markets we're looking at are flat, and if we don't push exports they're going to remain flat", Mackey said.
The goal of the visit was to promote his administration's five-point plan to turnaround struggling rural communities.
"From [day one], we've been working to deliver for America's farmers, just as they work every single day to deliver for us", the president said.
"My constituents deserve the same chance to succeed as any American, as well as safety and security".
"We are fighting for our farmers. and we're fighting for our country, and for our great American flag", he said. "Today was an important reminder of their hard work and service".
The orders followed input from farmers to Trump's rural America task force, who released a report on Monday that detailed their findings, including the need for better internet access. The fat "I Support NAFTA" pins spotted on scores of lapels made that clear.
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"It's always quite an honor to get the President but of course there is a lot of inconvenience that goes along with that, and I know that security probably 10-fold since then".
Of the opioid issue, he said, "The President has already taken swift action and declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and allocated additional resources to our region to fight this epidemic".
He also said that farmers would be exempt of inheritance tax.
Rural Americans voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
He brought up the farm bill, which is passed every five years and, among many other things, provides financial assistance to the agricultural sector through subsidies and other programs.
Trump's endorsement of crop insurance generated the longest sustained applause during his speech.
The crowd of about 4,500 people gathered in the Gaylord Opryland Resort's Delta ballroom frequently cheered, as he riffed on topics as varied as the National Anthem, the tax-cut bill and rolling back water regulations. For the first time ever, all 95 of Tennessee's counties have unemployment below five percent.
According to the White House, "the first of these two orders instructs the department of interior to dedicate a portion of its assets for rural broadband installation".