Bush Praises and Challenges American Farmers and Ranchers
Washington, D.C. ---President
George W. Bush is calling upon agriculture-related agencies,
organizations and businesses to strengthen their commitment to
provide quality, safety and health training to farmers, ranchers and
their families. He also is calling upon citizens to recognize the
sacrifice and dedication of those individuals and communities whose
work in agriculture provides the quality food that we enjoy.
In a Sept. 17
proclamation signifying this week as National Farm and Ranch Safety
and Health Week, President Bush stated:
agriculture industry represents 13 percent of our economy and
remains central to our prosperity at home and our competitiveness
abroad. At the core of this industry are countless dedicated farmers
and ranchers working to produce foodstuffs at a level of efficiency
and quality unrivaled around the globe. In many ways, agriculture
ranks among the most crucial of our nation's industries; and yet,
its reliability and productivity are often taken for granted."
Farmers and ranchers
face significant challenges and uncertainty, from inclement weather
to damaging insects. They also face health and safety dangers, from
exposure to chemicals and the operation of machinery to tending
livestock. Despite these hazards and uncertainties, American farmers
and ranchers remain among the most dedicated and productive
contributors to the nation's economy.
"I am committed to
supporting the American farmer and rancher, and my administration
will help those facing financial difficulties caused by storms,
droughts or any other unforeseen natural catastrophe," Bush
added. "In times of emergency, farmers and ranchers will get
the assistance they need, when they need it."
He recently signed a
$5.5 billion agriculture supplemental bill that affirms his
commitment to maintaining a strong and healthy agricultural economy.
The Bush administration also supports tax-deferred savings accounts
to help farming and ranching families guard against downturns.
"To keep farms and
ranches in a family from generation to generation, we are
eliminating the death tax," Bush added.
Bush also vowed to work
hard to ensure that agriculture is a top priority in future trade
negotiations so that farmers can access foreign markets to sell
"Our nation owes a
dept of gratitude to our farmers and ranchers for helping to ensure
stability in our economy, for providing food products that amply
meet all our citizens' needs, and for representing what is best
about America. They show the character and values that have made
this country strong, values of love and family, faith in God, and
respect for nature. We honor them by encouraging safe farming and
ranching practices that improve and protect the lives of all farmers
and ranchers," President Bush said.