For Minnesota farmers, 2020 election will be referendum on Trump’s trade war

Agriculture
KELO Farming General

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Super Tuesday could be a gauge for how Minnesota farmers are feeling about the 2020 election.

Back in 2016, much of rural Minnesota voted for President Trump.

But over the past, few years farm families have dealt with wet weather and a trade war with China.

“At their very core they are very independent, they are business people and they try and make a living on this landscape,” said Dave Pfarr.

Pfarr is a farmer and an agronomist. As part of his duties he works with farm families across the state. Over the past, couple years he’s watched them struggle with Mother Nature affecting their yields and commodity prices affecting their bottom lines.

“I think they want a fair shot in the marketplace. I think they want a level playing field worldwide to market their products,” said Pfarr.

Which is why Pfarr said many farmers initially supported President Trump’s trade war with China. Including Mike Pinney who farms near Le Center.

“I think we are doing the right thing with this trade war. The only problem is it’s going to take some pain in the meantime,” said Pinney.

But Pinney believes there are farmers who are growing frustrated. Between September 2018 and September 2019, more than 30 Minnesota farms filed for bankruptcy. That was a 10-year high. Still, other political components such as regulations and conservative views will play a major role come November.

“I would say if you look at that in the past, the rural part of Minnesota has been, and the people who farm the land and live in our communities, have been more on the conservative side of that agenda. I don’t know if that moves a lot,” said Pfarr.

“What I don’t want to see is just have us quit what we are doing if we do elect a Democratic candidate, just stop what we are doing and go back to the way it was. And show some weakness on our side,” said Pinney.

Other farmers we talked with said farm prices also affect dealerships and lenders, and candidates will have to prove they can help all aspects of the ag-business.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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