The President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union Darin Von Ruden said this week that farmers want to earn their own living and not rely on President Donald Trump’s government subsidies, according to Newsweek.
The statement From Von Ruden comes in response to a tweet from Trump stating that a recent [CBS 60 Minutes report,](a CBS 60 Minutes report) regarding the trade war affecting farmers in the U.S., had not mentioned the $28 billion dollars that the government has subsidized to U.S. farmers.
Wisconsin produces the second most dairy in the U.S. and Von Ruden commented on that matter by saying "The majority of farmers want to get our income coming in from the marketplace, from the consumers. We don't want government handouts."
Newsweek noted that Trump’s farm bailout has now cost more than twice as much as the $12 billion auto bailout in 2009.
Furthermore, Von Ruden said that Trump’s claim that he is helping farmers is “B.S.” and that “the amount of money we get back is between 20 and 23 percent of what we are losing.”
As the 2020 presidential election approaches, Trump would be wise to mend his relationship with U.S. farmers as he seeks re-election. A 2016 poll found Trump leading 55-18 among farmers with operations spanning at least 200 acres against his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Trump has attempted to recover trust from U.S. farmers by claiming that revenue collected from tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods will cover the cost of the bailout. Jim Goodman, a retired Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of the National Family Farm Coalition, commented, “It sounds like a lot of money, but when you divide that among the many farmers in the country, it doesn’t come to very much.” He went on to say that the major players in the farming industry are the ones that benefit the most from the Trump administration’s subsidies.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin lost nearly 600 dairy farms and the country as a whole lost more than 2,700 dairy farms, a decline of 7 percent.
Trump’s trade war has hit the farming industry extremely hard and, according to farmers from Wisconsin, government subsidies are not sufficient in covering the damage.