(WISCONSIN) — Tina Hinchley, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and tourism business owner, wrote an op-ed highlighting the toll that the Trump administration has taken on farmers since he entered the White House. Whether it’s Trump’s disastrous trade wars, harmful deals with China, or a failed response to COVID-19, Hinchley says that the only hope for the survival of their farm is electing Joe Biden this November.


The Cap Times: Tina Hinchley: Trump has made it nearly impossible for farmers like me to survive

  • My husband I own a dairy farm, and like so many other farmers, we inherited it through the family and decided to keep the business going — farming is in our blood and it always will be.
  • Like all other industries we’ve seen the ups and downs that come with running a business — it’s just part of the deal. Over the past several years we’ve diversified our farm by growing crops as well as starting a tourism business so that when the dairy industry fell on hard times, as it had in the past, we’d be able to weather the storm.
  • But nothing we did could have prepared us for the ineffective leadership of Donald Trump.
  • Almost immediately after taking office he plunged us into multiple trade wars, promising that the pain would be temporary and well worth it. But since Trump took office, over 2,000 of our fellow dairy farmers have had to shut their businesses down, many of them family farms that had survived and provided for Wisconsin and the country for several generations.
  • It’s a tragedy, and one that could have been avoided had Trump cared about our pain and suffering even a little. But it’s clear he doesn’t; just over a year ago he came to our state to declare that farmers like me and my husband, those in our community, and the other numerous small and medium-sized farms that polka-dot Wisconsin were “over the hump.”
  • But we weren’t and still aren’t. The trade deals he signed are too little, too late for us Wisconsin farmers. We took years and years creating reliable and sustainable markets that he wiped out in just a few months, and what Trump gave us in return was essentially just a repackaged version of the status quo.
  • What’s more is that he promised us huge purchases from China in the Phase One deal he signed six months ago, $50 billion in fact, and yet they agreed to only $14 billion which they are already reneging on.
  • Trump put us in his crosshairs because he thought he, not us, could score a victory, and we’re the ones suffering for it. This deal wasn’t about helping us, it was about getting him a photo op, which is what his entire presidency has been about.
  • It’s the same reason that he listened to the Chinese government instead of our intelligence community when we first learned about the coronavirus. And that decision has cost us more dearly than I thought possible.
  • Our farm was only able to survive this long because we had diversified our crops and built a tourism business, but with COVID-19 those two have been crushed by Trump. It gets harder every day to sell our products, and we just started allowing people to tour the farm again — but this time we’re all wearing masks. We know this puts our health at risk, but we have to find a way to keep our business going. What’s more is we can’t employ people in our community or support our local economy the way we should be able to. The ripple effect of Trump’s damage is endless.
  • Now, we have no idea when or how this will end and it feels like the last nail in the coffin. Trump’s strategy continues to be to wish this pandemic away, even advocating that we should ramp down testing. He refuses to accept the truth about this deadly virus that has killed over 133,000 Americans, has tanked our economy, and destroyed the livelihoods of people like me.
  • The only solution at this point is to elect a new president — and that’s Joe Biden. His compassion is bottomless, he’s a proven leader, and I know he will look out for hardworking Wisconsinites like us in the farming community. After everything Trump has done and continues to do, Joe Biden is our only hope.
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