by Jamala Rogers
What I know about the trump administration is that it is a weapon of mass destruction. Its policies, practices and actions have negatively impacted
large swaths of the nation’s populations. Women, children, veterans, farmers, immigrants, poor folks, people of color — all have felt the pointed boot
of the president.
It is in this context that I think about the dairy farmer in Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland. These farmers are between a rock and a hard place.
Once having the biggest dairy industry in the country — 7,400 dairy farms —
Wisconsin is now a leader in farm bankruptcies.
Overproduction has resulted in falling milk prices. There’s the tussle
between the Food and Drug Administration over who can use the term “milk”
and which is the healthiest—plant-based or cow’s milk. (For you almond or
soymilk lovers, there’s no lactation, a requirement for calling it milk.) Then
there’s the president’s retaliatory trade wars, which has put dairy farmers up
further against the wall.
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, almost 3,000 dairy
farms closed their barn doors last year. On an average, the state of
Wisconsin lost two dairy farms a day during that same period. More are in
the folding queue because of debt, refused bank loans and plain old fatigue.
The man in the White House makes policies on the fly that have far-reaching
effects on the current lives of families and the futures of their communities
and the nation. He had about as much insight into foreign policy as he has a
knowledge of world geography. And that’s none!
Things will worsen for Wisconsin dairy farmers before they get better. It is
why I find Wisconsin voters’ support for trump so baffling. The color flipping
of the state from blue to red in 2016 gave trump undeserved loyalty and the
master key to this country’s misery.
As we go into 2020, all the sectors who have been screwed by trump must
coalesce. Big time. What we have in common is feeling the brunt of his boot.
Our futures have been perverted for generations to come because of this
man’s greed. It’s time to do damage control. It’s time to take control.
The fate of Wisconsin’s hard-working dairy farmers is not etched in stone.
Voters in the state and the rest of the 49 states along with the District of
Columbia can write a new chapter for this country. If we organize this right —
come November 4, 2020 — we can lift our glasses of milk up in victory.