WASHINGTON, July 20, 2016 - The Donald Trump campaign is launching an effort to organize the food and agriculture sectors behind the candidate, who was formally nominated by the Republican convention in Cleveland Tuesday night. The campaign is expected to announce the plans at a convention event hosted by agribusiness leaders, the Great American Farm Luncheon.

Charles Herbster, a leading Angus cattle breeder from Nebraska, has been leading the organizational effort on behalf of the campaign and is scheduled to appear at the luncheon. Also playing a role in the effort is Sam Clovis, a senior policy adviser to Trump who serves as national co-chair of the campaign. Clovis is a professor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.

In June, Herbster was involved in setting up a meeting between Trump and hundreds of evangelical Christian leaders.

Last month, Agri-Pulse broke the news of a meeting in New York between chief executive officers of several major farm and agribusiness associations and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America, organized the CEOs who took part in the Clinton campaign meeting and is master of ceremonies at today’s luncheon in Cleveland.

Iowa farmer Annette Sweeney, who co-chaired a pro-ethanol campaign ahead of her state’s presidential caucuses, told Agri-Pulse this week that there is an “impressive agriculture movement” in the works for Trump.

It’s safe to bet there will be a strong emphasis on addressing the concerns among farmers about overregulation under the Obama administration. The anti-regulation message may serve to some extent to offset concerns in agriculture about Trump's attack on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements.

Republicans have been emphasizing the overregulation theme this week, both in the party platform, which was approved Monday, and in a speech by Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan. Farmers “really don’t think we’re being heard” by government agencies, said Sweeney.

Groups and companies expected to have representatives at today’s Cleveland event include AgriBank, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, Bunge, Cargill, CoBank, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, FMC, Growth Energy, Land O'Lakes, Monsanto, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, PepsiCo, Syngenta, The Russell Group and the U.S. Beet Sugar Association.


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