Wisconsin farmers already disappointed in Joe Biden - Paycheck

Wisconsin farmers already disappointed in Joe Biden

   Farmers are irritated with President-elect Joe Biden. They feel he lacks interest in and compassion for American farmers. His campaign platform rarely included agriculture or issues pertinent to the industry. They worry about how these issues will affect them and their paychecks as they continue to feed the world.

   “As for incoming “leadership,” larger operations will continue to be protected because they are too big to fail,” said Dan Wegmueller, Monroe, Wisconsin dairy farmer. “I suppose there will be money available for smaller farms, but I can promise you one thing – it won’t be easy to obtain.”

   Wegmueller believes American farms will continue to grow and become more consolidated. Meat processing plants will become automated, and the next group of farmers to “fall by the wayside,” he said, will be the medium-sized farms, which, in dairy, is anything less than 1,000 cows. He believes the United States will push toward a plant-based diet and will include highly-processed plant-based food that will be marketed as superior to animal products for environmental, health and ethical reasons, he said.

   “This hyper-industrialization of our food supply will turn off a growing number of consumers,” he said. “Small farms that are able to pivot toward direct-to-consumer relationships will not survive but will have the opportunity to thrive if they are savvy and efficient about how they position themselves.”

   Jim Toberman, a cash crop farmer just outside Footville, Wisconsin, believes President-elect Biden won’t do anything that will benefit farmers. But he’s also worried about such things as border security and trade deals.

   “We’re doomed,” Toberman said. “America will be unsecure, both at our borders and in our communities with less support for national defense and local police. Trade deals that have been improved will fall back to pre-Trump inequality and China will own us outright by 2024, I’m afraid.”

   Toberman said trade deals haven’t been as fair and favorable for American farmers as they should be in the past, but Trump worked to improve them. Now it’s up to the Biden-Harris administration to uphold and even improve upon them. But there are so many issues Americans should worry about as the new administration prepares for its arrival at the White House, Toberman said.

   “Even if Biden knows the secret to stopping covid, far more lives will be lost to abortion in the long haul,” he said. “Nancy Pelosi’s puppet with dementia won’t make for an easy four years.”

   In a presidential candidate questionnaire administered by the American Farm Bureau Federation earlier this year, Biden wrote, “Rural Americans fuel us and feed us. Rural lands provide us with places to spend time outdoors with friends and family and relax.” He continued to answer questions about maintaining necessary rural infrastructure and finding rural economic opportunities by outlining a plan for rural America.

   Evansville dairy and crop farmer Aaron Hass is also concerned about several issues as they pertain to the incoming administration. He believes the economy will become stagnant for the next four years and China will laugh at American attempts to negotiate trade deals, causing unnecessary suffering for farmers.

   “I hope that the next administration will understand that what makes America the most free nation on earth is that we have food sovereignty,” Hass said. “I also worry about the new zero emissions standards being put into play.”

   The farm equipment emissions issue doesn’t concern him as much as damage to plant life does. Without greenhouse gases, plants will not have food, he said. What he used to get naturally for his crops through rainfall is now added to his fields each year.

   “We currently have to supplement sulfur to the corn to help it grow,” he said. “That once came from rain.”

   Hass said he is also frustrated with Biden’s lack of care for American agriculture during his campaign. The fact that he has not focused his energy on farming shouldn’t surprise Americans, Hass said.

   “During the Obama-Biden administration is when foreign powers purchased our food processing industry with financial help from our government in turn creating a massive deficit for our nation’s ag sector,” he said. “Biden babbled about chicken manure and unpractical and unsafe methane digesters once during his campaign.”

Mary Hookham

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