The North Dakota farmer who mowed "We stand for the national anthem" into his field and prompted praise from President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE said Wednesday that the president's words were the next best thing to shaking his hand.

Asked on "Fox & Friends" what it was like to get noticed by the president, Gene Hanson said that it "was something."

"Next thing best to it would be to shake his hand, I guess," he said.



Hanson mowed the phrase into his bean crops in response to a reignited national debate over whether NFL players — or any professional athletes — should be allowed to kneel in protest during the national anthem. 

Trump sparked the feud at a campaign rally last month, when he called for NFL owners to fire players who take a knee during the anthem. Since then, he has sporadically revisited the issue, saying that the protests are disrespectful to the country and its flag. 

Last year, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. That move set off a wave of similar demonstrations across the sports world.

In an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity on Wednesday, Trump said the NFL should have sought to quash the protests immediately after they began last year by suspending Kaepernick

"I watched Colin Kaepernick and I thought it was terrible," he said. "And then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming. And frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game and he would have never done it again."