A Grantsburg dairy farmer told the Republican National Convention tonight President Trump took office during the “Great Depression for Wisconsin dairy farmers.”

But Cris Peterson said Trump’s “economic boom” helped dairy farms right up to the economic shutdown triggered by COVID-19.

She added the nation’s food production and distribution system came close to collapsing this spring amid the pandemic, but Trump took steps to provide the support farmers needed.

“President Trump took the necessary action knowing that agriculture is our backbone and strength, critical to our national security,” Peterson said. “Our entire economy, and dairy farming, are once again roaring back. One person deserves the credit and our vote, President Donald J. Trump.”

Dems have routinely used the state of Wisconsin’s dairy industry to knock Trump, including the trade wars he engaged in. The state lost 818 dairy farms in 2019 alone, part of a trend that has meant about one-fourth of the state’s dairy farms have gone out of business since 2014. Wisconsin also led the country with 57 bankruptcy filings in 2019, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Peterson recounted the family’s 120-year-old barn catching fire in 2017. She said the cows were spared with friends and others taking them to other farms so they could be milked until the barn was rebuilt. By the end of 2018, she said, the family had a state-of-the-art robotic milking facility.

“As a businessman, President Trump understands that farming is a complicated, capital-intensive and risky business,” she said. “More than any president in my lifetime, he has acknowledged the importance of farmers and agriculture. That support and focus on negotiating new trade deals gave us the confidence to rebuild our barn and dairy operation.”

Peterson said she and her husband Gary milk a thousand cows on a dairy farm in Grantsburg. She is also a children’s author who was appointed to the UW Board of Regents by former GOP Gov. Scott Walker. When the campaign originally identified her as a speaker at the convention, it listed her as from Minnesota. She is originally from Minneapolis.

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