President Donald Trump’s officials were abruptly told to end their agricultural tour in the Midwest this week as tensions among farmers continue to rise.
Bloomberg News reported Trump administration officials were visiting farmers in the Midwest when they received a credible threat that prompted them to end their tour. The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour was taking a look at soybeans and corn with Department of Agriculture staff when they were forced to pull out of the area.
“Federal Protective Services were contacted and are investigating the incident,” said Hubert Hamer, administrator of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. “The safety of our employees is our top priority.”
Trump Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had an unfortunate moment when he went to talk to farmers in the upper Midwest. Trump has claimed farmers support his trade war with China, that is going into its second year.
Farmers told Perdue that things weren’t “great” and they were concerned Americans see Trump’s bailout as a welfare program for farmers. To make matters worse, the bailouts were given to corporate farms over family farms and put those in rural areas at a greater disadvantage as they struggle through Trump’s trade war.
After a series of stories where farmers attacked Trump for the lack of progress, the president tweeted that farmers love him.
“This wound is self-inflicted, by our president,” said Gary Wertish, who is the president of Minnesota Farmers Union. “We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are ‘winning,’ we’re ‘great patriots,’ that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is not going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot.”