ELEVA, Wis. — Today, Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Morning Star Dairy Farm in Onalaska, Wisconsin after visiting Ripon College. While Pence is slated to speak about the Trump administration’s agenda during his visit and tout the USMCA trade agreement, Wisconsinites know the vice president won’t mention that the Trump administration’s trade war is destroying the state’s farm industry — the backbone of our state.
A new video released by Opportunity Wisconsin today features Eleva-based dairy farmer Paul Adams discussing the damage President Trump’s trade war has done to farms like his.
“Vice President Pence really should have joined me out at our family farm earlier this year. Maybe then he’d reconsider believing that the Trump administration has actually helped the farm industry here in Wisconsin,” shared Adams Dairy owner and Opportunity Wisconsin Steering Committee Member Paul Adams. “My family was forced to sell off the last of our herd, adding to the more than 2,000 Wisconsin dairy farms that have been lost since President Trump and Vice President Pence took office. And, all of that was before coronavirus, which has been hitting dairy farmers particularly hard.”
Paul’s tough decision to sell the remainder of his farm came after he got the opportunity to question Secretary Perdue about the administration’s lack of enforcement or accountability in farming. He outlined how family farms like his were feeling squeezed by the administration’s policies, and about his worry for the future of our state’s long-held farming traditions. Instead of looking out for family farmers like Paul, members of the Trump administration defend the big firms that put Paul out of business, saying “in America the big get bigger and the small go out.”
Earlier this month, Opportunity Wisconsin also held an event with Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Paul Adams, Nelson dairy farm and Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative Development Director Sarah Lloyd, and Landmark Creamery co-owner Anna Landmark, who discussed the damage Trump’s trade war and his economic policies have inflicted on Wisconsin’s farmers.
“The instability in the dairy industry has been impacting the cheese industry for a long time. We are all just kind of holding our breath right now,” said Landmark Creamery co-owner and Opportunity Wisconsin Steering Committee Member Anna Landmark. “Money is going to run out soon, [and] unless the federal government continues aid, we’ll be gone by September.”
“When Vice President Pence visits Morning Star Farms today, I would like to challenge him to take a good look at the forces moving our industry toward greater concentration and monopoly power” said Nelson Dairy Farmer and Vice-President Columbia County Farmers Union Sarah Lloyd. “At our dairy farm and at farms across the state, we are seeing increased price volatility and a lack of market stability, and this is ultimately causing Wisconsin to lead the nation in dairy farm closures and bankruptcies. The concentrated market forces don’t give family farmers, like me, a fair shot. The Trump administration has not dug in to these issues and it is severely hurting our businesses.”