Obama’s State of the Union Addresses Key Agricultural Issues


In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama addresses several issues vital to the future of American agriculture, including the use of biofuels, the reduction of American dependence on foreign oil, trade agreements with other nations, and the role of the agricultural sector in feeding a growing world population.

Obama’s address has received some positive responses from agricultural organizations. National Corn Growers Association Chairman Darrin Ihnen said, “We were encouraged that President Obama spoke about the needs of rural America and the importance of our country’s global leadership when it comes to agriculture… Our growers have been working hard and smart to meet all needs for food, feed and fuel and we have long recognized the need for policies and programs to grow opportunities for American farmers here at home and in markets abroad.”

Ihnen focused on Obama’s mention of free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Columbia, agreements Ihnen cited as necessary to increase American agricultural exports and create jobs in the U.S.  Others noted Obama’s pledge to support the production of biofuels, primarily corn-based ethanol. American agricultural groups remain optimistic that increased production of ethanol will benefit American farmers, particularly corn producers like Ihnen and the NCGA.

Obama also praised the American agricultural sectors, stating, “Around the globe, we’re standing with those who take responsibility – helping farmers grow more food, supporting doctors who care for the sick and combating the corruption that can rot a society and rob people of opportunity.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer