Kansas City, Mo. A Farm Bureau official from Lecompton, and U.S. Rep. Dan Glickman, D-Kansas, had different reactions to President George Bush's speech this morning in Kansas City.
Bush spoke on trade and agricultural issues at the 73rd annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Municipal Auditorium.
Gerald Ice, one of 10 members of the Kansas Farm Bureau Federation's board of directors, said he thought Bush's comments were "real favorable with the farmers in the state and in the nation.
"I thought it was a real impressive speech," he said.
Ice, whose 10-county Farm Bureau district includes Douglas, Franklin and Johnson counties, said this marked the second time he had heard Bush speak. The first was a couple years ago in Orlando, Fla., also during a national Farm Bureau Federation convention.
ICE SAID he thought Bush's reference to the national wetlands policy was significant and noted his agreement with the president's perspective.
Bush said today that the country needed to protect the sensitive environmental areas as well as the rights of landowners many of whom are farmers.
Ice said, "There are wetlands that farmers want to keep but some of this land classified as "wetlands" is ridiculous."
ICE SAID he thought the president seemed upbeat about reaching an agreement in the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) talks, which will affect farmers.
"He was pretty optimistic that we can get the job done," Ice said.
U.S. Rep. Dan Glickman, D-Kan., however, said he was disappointed with the content of Bush's speech even though the president "looked good."
"I'd start acting tough and I'd stop this passivity," Glickman said. "On the one hand, he was talking about getting tough and on the other, he was saying we don't want protectionism.
"I don't think the public wants an agreement (on GATT) where we would have to give up something."
ORGANIZERS said about 500 Kansas delegates, designated by distinctive sunflower lapel pins, were attending the convention. Ice said about 30 people from the Lawrence area had traveled this morning to the event.
Jack King, director of news services for Farm Bureau, said more than 5,000 Farm Bureau delegates listened to the speech.