Remarks to Members of the Future Farmers of America

July 30, 1981

The President. I know you've been well-treated here. I know that Elizabeth and Secretary Bell and all have taken good care of you -- and I'm a ringer. [Laughter]

But some of you spotted me in there, and I wasn't loafing. [Laughter] I had one brief spot in there, and I was trying to get some mail answered. Yesterday was a busier day. You probably read about that.

When you spotted me, I couldn't resist coming out here and saying hello to all of you and welcoming you to the Capital. I think, though, that I should make it very short -- not keep you standing any longer out in the sun. Some of you turned your backs momentarily and I saw ``Iowa'' on the backs of some of them. I imagine there are some from Illinois also -- [cheers] -- and California. [Cheers] I'm a three-State man -- born and raised in Illinois, started my career in Iowa as a sports announcer, and wound up in California -- --

Future Farmer. Did you ever go through Nebraska? [Laughter]

The President. Oh, yes, many times. I think I've been in all the States and now -- this isn't a State, so I guess this is the fourth locale for my life.

But it's good to see you all here, and God bless all of you. Just looking at you makes the job a little easier. There are some people -- you know, here in Washington you're subjected to the doomcriers and the people that think that the world is all going downhill. Don't you believe it. You're going to have greater opportunities, you're going to see more, you're going to know more, you're going to be able to live longer and be healthier, and the only credit we can take is that maybe we had a little something to do with that in bringing you along to this point.

But there's a great big world out there, and this Nation is not going to go downhill or continue on the present path. There isn't anything that we cannot do if we set our minds to it, and we're going to set them to it, and I take courage from you.

Note: The President spoke at 10:56 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

In his remarks, the President referred to Assistant to the President for Public Liaison Elizabeth H. Dole and Secretary of Education T. H. Bell.