By Holly Spangler
Inside the Opryland Resort & Convention Center, anticipation for President Donald Trump’s Monday address to the 99th annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention was palpable.
The numbers were also daunting: 7,000 registered attendees, most of whom wanted to get into a room slated to hold 4,400. Farmers began lining up by 8 a.m. for doors that would open at 10 a.m. to hear a speech that would begin at 3 p.m.
Security was thick throughout the facility, and major highways nearby were shut down for parts of the day. Once farmers passed through metal detectors and entered the secured perimeter of the convention hall, they were not allowed to leave; if they did, they’d have to come back through security, with no guarantee that they’d get back in. Snacks, water and bathrooms were available.
Lines snaked throughout the convention center atrium until doors opened at 11 a.m. and farmers filed in to take their seats.
Here’s a look at some scenes from the day.