The back and forth trade war with China has had an effect on most Americans with farmers being hit particularly hard. Donald Trump gave midwestern farmers some relief with a $16 billion bailout, but many are still struggling.
Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, recently visited the World Dairy Expo which took place in Madison, Wisconsin. Speaking with reporters following the event, Perdue said that if farmer’s can’t grow more,they should do something else.
The agriculture secretary told the press, “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”
Perdue later added that the economy may not be able to support the small scale farmer. He continued, “It’s very difficult on an economy of scale with the capital needs and all the environmental regulations and everything else today to survive milking 40, 50, or 60 or even 100 cows.”
Trump’s agriculture secretary also held a town hall where he answered questions. When asked about China and the trade war, he responded, “[the Chinese are] cheaters. “They toyed us into being more dependent on their markets than them on us. That’s what the problem has been. They can’t expect to come into our country freely and fairly without opening up their markets.”
At least one of the farmer’s left the event deflated by Perdue’s remarks. Farmer Jerry Volenec told reporters, “What I heard today from the secretary of agriculture is there’s no place for me. Can I get some support from my state and federal government? I feel like we’re a benefit to society.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.