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WFBF: Perdue Dairy Comments Taken Out of Context
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/11/2019

The leader of the state's largest farm organization says many of the news stories during the past week about U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's comments regarding small dairy farmers are 'misleading' and he's urging the industry to stand united rather than tearing each other apart. In an editorial released on Thursday, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte said agriculture is normally bipartisan, but recently there has been too much political rhetoric.

"I am very disappointed by the misleading and inaccurate news stories being shared across Wisconsin, and the country, following Secretary Perdue's visit to World Dairy Expo," Holte penned. "This has brought us center stage with the intention of dividing rural Wisconsin. Divisive political strategies are being used to influence farmers in our state."

He continued to say that as a farmer himself, Perdue genuinely understands the business of agriculture and the challenges facing the industry.

"Farmers and agriculturists need to stand united during these trying times. We need to constantly question whether we have the full truth, or if there is more to the story," he said. "Most importantly, we need to support one another. I ask farmers and agriculturists to stand with me in giving agriculture a united voice and not allowing a divide to be drawn between us."

Holte's comments come after Perdue was blasted by other farm groups, politicians and some in the media when he responded to a reporter's question about whether small dairy farms can survive in this tough market. He answer was: "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."

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