Farmers struggling, say last three years “not better than it was” under Trump Administration

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 11:07 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - The Republican National Convention started this week and Nebraska farmers are anxiously waiting to hear plans for the agricultural community.

Promises to farmers were a big part of the 2016 Republican presidential campaign. While a lot of it sounded good at the time, the President of the Nebraska Farmers’ Union, John Hansen, said these last few years didn’t quite go as expected.

“At this point we are moving backwards, and we can’t afford to move backwards,” he said.

Hansen is a sixth generation farmer, and he said we are currently in the worst financial agricultural crisis since the 80′s.

While farmers did see a change under this administration, Hansen said it wasn’t a good one.

“This has been a tough go in agriculture for some time, and the last three and a half years - I don’t think is any better than it was before,” Hansen said.

Hansen said the president's plan for a better trade deal with China didn't work out as planned and said it actually cost farmers a lot of business.

“Unfortunately the President didn’t go out and ask for all the help that he would need to take that project on,” he said. “He went (with) a go-it-alone strategy, and we ended up losing a bunch of our markets in the process.”

Hansen said it got worse for local farmers when current Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue dismissed an important bipartisan reform in ag market contract as soon as he took office.

"That was sitting on the desk when Secretary Perdue walked in the door and the first thing he did was took all those years of bipartisan work and threw it in the trash can," Hansen said. "It's very disappointing."

Hansen said the biggest disappointment these last few years has been the president’s lack of support for ethanol and his stance on climate change.

“Trump’s position on climate change is really disappointing because it comes at a time where the U.S. should be a world leader, but we advocated our role of both responsibility as a participating nation and as a leader,” he said. “That’s an issue that cuts very close to home for our nation.”

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