(CAMBRIDGE, WI) — Yesterday, the independent group Farm Bureau released a report highlighting that farm bankruptcies nationwide were up in 2019, and Wisconsin saw its highest level of farm bankruptcies in a decade. Trump’s erratic trade war led to the closure of 818 dairy farms, or 10% of that industry. In addition, cash crop farmers have seen their balance sheets dive into the red, with many having to close their doors forever.
Trump ignored the problems his trade wars caused for years, turning a blind eye to the pain the industry was feeling and declaring that farmers in Wisconsin were “over the hump” as the crisis grew worse. Now, the president is trying to declare total victory with wholly inadequate trade deals that farms across the state are declaring “too little, too late.”
Tina and Duane Hinchley, dairy and crop farmers, hosted a tour of their farm to highlight the financial hit they and other farmers like them have taken because of Trump’s trade wars. See what they, and other farmers, had to say below.
NBC15: “‘Everything’s up in chaos,’ Hinchley said. ‘And it’s kind of coming right back to being the same program it was. We’re not gaining (anything) out of it.’…Hinchley and his wife Tina said without China in the picture, they aren’t too optimistic.”
WKOW: “In 2017 we have the best year ever for exports with the commodities and now it’s three years later and were going the other way on the graph,” said Duane Hinchley, a dairy farmer in Cambridge.
CBS58: “Right now there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Tina told reporters…“Our markets are volatile, milk prices up and down like a yo-yo, we’ve got issues with weather and everything else that goes with it and it’s always been that way, but more so recently.”
WLUK 11: “Donald Trump’s trade policies cannot undo the damage he brought to our community. He thought he could buy us off with bailouts and now thinks he can pull the wool over our eyes with these new trade deals, but it’s too little too late. We’re not going to forget how broke his promises to us. If he actually came out and spoke with us dairy farmers he’d know this isn’t going to get us over the hump,” said dairy farmers, Tina and Duane Hinchley.
In addition, other farmers, including the Wisconsin Farmers Union President, released the following statements.
Wisconsin Farmers Union President and dairy farmer Darin Von Ruden: “Farmers across Wisconsin held out hope that Donald Trump’s trade war would be worth it — but it’s clear that the USMCA and the Phase 1 agreement with China won’t come close to fixing the widespread damage he’s caused to our way of life. He broke his promise to us to expand markets and help our balance sheets, putting countless farmers in a perilous situation. Instead of offering a new path forward Trump has virtually maintained the status quo with Canada and Mexico. All the while China is still able to buy and sell products from other countries, which is something they started doing due to Trump’s actions. The bottom line is Trump hasn’t taken care of farmers and we’re still decades away from being over the hump.”
Ginseng Farmer Cody Scozka: “I had one day hoped to pass my ginseng farm on to my children the way my father passed it on to me. But because of Trump’s trade war, our market has been cut in half and now I don’t know if this is a possibility. There was hope that it’d be worth the wait but these trade deals don’t even come close to making us whole again. The only thing Trump accomplished was make our lives far harder, and we won’t forget his broken promises to us.”
DPW Rural Caucus Chair Nate Timm: “Farmers across our state are facing bankruptcy at record levels because of Trump’s broken promises and failed trade policies which are major contributors to this rural tragedy. He undercut our markets with China and virtually kept the status quo with Mexico and Canada. His replacement payments are totally inadequate. This is a president who clearly does not care about the carnage and pain his policies have caused in rural Wisconsin and across America. A few tweets will not comfort farmers, as they leap with their bankers and plan for another season. Trump has become a clear and present danger to the future of Wisconsin farmers.”