Generations of farmers, agronomists, lawmakers and other alumni of Purdue’s College of Agriculture met for their annual Fish Fry, amid a lot of political and economic uncertainty for the farm industry.
That fact wasn’t lost on the hundreds of Purdue agriculture alumni who flocked to the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday.
Most of them rely on farm exports to Mexico, China and other countries where President Donald Trump has pledged to reform trade deals. And Indiana Agriculture Secretary Ted McKinney says it’s on people’s minds.
“We won’t hear speakers get into any depth about what are we doing about trade with China, what’s the tweet of the day, anything like that,” said McKinney before the luncheon began. “But no doubt there will be some discussions.”
Alumnus Ben Carter graduated with a Purdue agronomy degree in 1972. He says his community is waiting to see what impact the Trump administration would have on ag. But he added they’ve bounced back from bigger changes before.
“Agriculture’s always been going through change. It’s progressed from the horse to the mechanized,” Carter says. “And agriculture in the world has looked at the U.S. as we make strides in technology.”
Carter thinks the research and extension services of institutions such as Purdue will give American farmers a leg up – whatever happens next.