Some farmers in La Crosse are expressing their concerns about President Trump’s tariffs

Several farmers and business in the agricultural community met with Rep. Ron Kind to discuss how the tariffs are affecting them.

Many farmers in our area are having a hard time financially since the tariffs went into effect.

Darin Von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union is worried that if things don’t change many farmers may file for bankruptcy.

“How many people are going to be run out of business because of uncertainty at this point?” Von Ruden asked.

Von Ruden said many farmers are struggling to make money because of the tariffs China put in place in response to President Trumps tariffs,

“It’s going to be a tough winter and spring for all types of agriculture because of those lost markets that we’ve seen,” Von Ruden said.

Normally farmers would turn to money lenders for financial support. But Von Ruden says many farmers can’t take out as big of a loan as they could in the recent past because the value of their assets has significantly dropped.

“Farmers assets have been dropping and so then the banks have to make sure they can cover their debts too. A year ago an average dairy cow was probably worth $1300 to $1400 in the state. Right now with dairy sales, good producing dairy cows are only going 600, 700 bucks,” Von Ruden said.

Rep. Ron Kind said historically when the rural economy suffers the nationally economy is soon to follow.

“When there’s a real downturn in the rural economy, it usually precedes a larger economic downturn for our national economy,” Kind said.

One thing the Trump administration has talked about is a $12 billion aid package for farmers, but some farmers say they would rather have no tariffs so they can keep doing business with China.

“Farmers would much rather receive their dollars from the marketplace first,” Von Ruden said.

“The irony of that $12 billion package is we will be borrowing $12 billion from China to offer the $12 billion dollar package to our family farmers who are no longer allowed to sell their product to China,” Kind said.

Some of the hardest-hit industries in Wisconsin are dairy farmers, cranberry and bean growers, pork producers, and paper and pulp manufacturers.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over $1 billion of Wisconsin exports could be impacted by President Trump’s trade war.