ICYMI: Derrick Van Orden Stands With Farmers; President Biden and Ron Kind Abandon Them
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WI – This week, we saw a stark contrast between the commitment Derrick Van Orden and Wisconsin Republicans have displayed for the state’s farmers, and the contrasting lack of commitment from President Biden and Ron Kind.
Derrick and other elected representatives in Wisconsin held a roundtable in Onalaska on Monday, hearing from area farmers about the challenges they face including extended unemployment benefits hindering their workforce, rising costs and supply chain problems fueled by out-of-control Washington spending, and increasing taxes as a result.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Ron Kind spent days promoting the President’s visit as his commitment to “growing agriculture and rural economies.” At the last minute, however, he and Rep. Kind abandoned the district’s farmers, electing to discuss infrastructure in downtown La Crosse instead.
Check out the coverage from Derrick’s agriculture roundtable and the Biden/Kind flip flop on farmers:
Derrick Van Orden, R-Prairie du Chien, a candidate for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, said he is taking around seven key issues raised by farmers back to his staff to find solutions.
“We have to get politics out of the way and allow these farmers to continue producing food for all of us,” Van Orden said.
: Republican Roundtable on rural issues
The session included farmers sounding off on several key issues. For several farmers, a lack of workers was top of the list. State Senator Patrick Testin cited the current unemployment policies that he felt were encouraging people to stay home. Republican Derrick Van Orden agreed that finding people to work the fields has been a challenge.
“Absolutely, the workforce, legal immigrant labor is an integral part of farming and it should be. We’re a nation of immigrants, we always have been and always will be,” Van Orden said.
Derrick Van Orden: “What I wanted to do in getting everybody together here is listen to you guys, and have you explain to us how things are going with your farms, and what we can do from the federal level and also from the state level”
Topics included restrictive regulations, having trouble finding employees, and how inheritance taxes are making it hard to hand farms down from parents to their children.
The switched topics of Biden’s visit, from agriculture to infrastructure, was disappointing, said Jim Goodman with the group National Family Farm Coalition.
“I was really glad when I saw that the president was going to be here and talk about agriculture, because I thought maybe we could get a little traction on some legislation we’re interested in,” Goodman said.
“But, now, that’s not a message he’s going to hear from anybody in person.”
It was also disappointing that Vilsack didn’t come to Wisconsin, Goodman said.
“Farmers need a fair price for what they produce. We can’t look to the world to soak up all our excess production, and it would have been nice if he could have heard that from someone,” he said.