Donald Trump announced the members of his agriculture advisory board on Tuesday. Among the members of the board are governors, secretaries of agriculture, and farmers. Many of the names are familiar to farmers including Gary Niemeyer, an Illinois farmer and the former president of the National Corn Growers Association. Niemeyer says Trump’s advisory board hopes to influence and advise Trump on a range of agricultural issues that includes ethanol, trade and infrastructure.
“I am very honored and humbled at being listed with a lot of these people,” Niemeyer told AgriTalk Radio host Mike Adams on Aug. 17. “A lot of them I know and have worked with before on issues we’ve been trying to accomplish.”
Ethanol. One of the primary issues Niemeyer hopes to influence Trump on is ethanol.
“I think Donald Trump is on the correct side,” he says. “With Terry Branstad [also on the board], I think it’s going to be a big help. I can name five people [on the board] who are really involved in ethanol.”
Trade. Trump has not been shy in his refusal to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Niemeyer supports his decision but says he hopes other trade deals will be on the agenda.
“I’m thinking there are probably a lot of things in that TPP bill we don’t know about,” he says. “I don’t disagree that we could have better trade deals.”
Niemeyer says trade agreements between two countries are more ideal than multinational options, but that getting these types of one-on-one deals through Congress would be a challenge.
Infrastructure. Another one of Niemeyer’s priority discussions is on rural America’s crumbling infrastructure.
“For years our locks and dams are pathetic,” he says. “Both Hillary and Donald are talking about infrastructure improvements. I just want this to come to fruition.”
Niemeyer says Trump supporters hope he will be able to start acting more presidential.
“Donald appears to be an individual businessman and I respect him for that,” he says. “When I was at National Corn Growers I was told ‘Gary, you’re not yourself, you’re representing 40,000 other corn farmers and you have to start doing that.’ I think that’s the transition he’s in right now: You have to work for the whole.”
The entire advisory board is comprised of 65 members and promises to “cover a lot of area,” Niemeyer adds.
“I hope to have a lot of input,” he says.
Listen to the full interview with Niemeyer below.