"The basic necessities of life are created by the agriculture industry. We began as an agriculture country and it's been fundamental to our development as a nation."
The words were shared by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the American Farm Bureau Federation. In his opening remarks at the group's annual convention Monday afternoon, Giuliani thanked nearly 5,000 farmers for what they do, adding that the nation wouldn't survive if it wasn't for the work they do to feed our nation and economically support the U.S. through trade.
Giuliani may be from New York, but he understands that many issues important to the country also resonate deep in the countryside. In his comments to the attendees he made it clear of the interdependence agriculture and the rest of the country have for one another.
One main topic he addressed was the importance of food safety, security and having a reliable food supply. He also focused on the development of a comprehensive energy bill to address the need to increase domestic renewable resources of energy and become less reliant on foreign oil supplies. Giuliani says, "Energy independence is critical for you and it's just as critical for the rest of us."
President Bush easily got applause in agriculture audiences when talking about ending the capital gains tax. Giuliani was able to do the same with his emphatic statement, "I'm a strong advocate of eliminating capital gains tax." In a follow-up, he recognizes that the greatest asset over a lifetime of a farmer is the farm and that money should be able to be invested elsewhere.
Some may have thought Giuliani was brushing elbows with producers at the convention as a beginning stumping platform for a potential bid for the Republican Presidential nomination for 2006. That wasn't the case as the 9/11-elevatored personnel shared that he enjoys speaking and won't make the decision of whether to run for president for the "unforeseeable future."