Trump to meet privately with farmers in Fresno on Friday

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  • Donald Trump will sit down privately with leading political players and donors in California's agriculture industry
  • "We're meeting with some of the area's biggest farmers," Tim Clark, Trump's state director, said Wednesday

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump will sit down privately with leading political players and donors in California's agriculture industry, educating himself on some of the local, granular policy fights that could shape state-by-state battles this fall.

Trump is planning to meet with several movers and shakers in Fresno on Friday around the time of his morning rally, Trump state director Tim Clark said. The state's Central Valley has been ravaged by recent droughts, which have hurt the region's farmers and ranchers, and the meeting is expected to focus on water issues.
The state's agriculture industry depends heavily on immigrant labor and trade, potentially setting up a contentious meeting with Trump, who has vowed a hard line on both issues throughout his campaign.
    The meeting's politics has concerned some in the Central Valley. Industry leaders this week have been trading emails, obtained by CNN, worrying that the "right people" aren't set to meet with Trump, while others have expressed an unwillingness to endorse him just to win access to the sitdown.
    The presumptive GOP nominee has begun zeroing in on policy with a series of speeches, but his campaign thus far has largely consisted of boisterous rallies. By contrast, Hillary Clinton, Trump's likely Democratic opponent, has consistently held such policy roundtables.
    "We're meeting with some of the area's biggest farmers," Clark said Wednesday, though he declined to discuss specifics of the still-in-formation event. "We're still determining the structure of that event."
    The conclave on Friday could include some prominent Republican donors from the area, including John Harris, a longtime GOP fundraiser. Harris said his wife plans to meet with Trump before his Fresno event.
    Some California donors said they are also expecting a second fundraiser to be hosted in the state on Friday -- possibly in the Central Valley -- though no event has been finalized.
    Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not respond to requests for comment.
    A leading player behind the scenes is said to be Johnny Amaral, who manages lobbyists for Westlands Water District, a massive water district in the Central Valley. Amaral, who is a former chief of staff to local GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, declined to comment.
    Trump's first large fundraiser will be held Wednesday night in Los Angeles at the home of a longtime associate, Tom Barrack.