This is the Insurgent Radio Kiosk for Friday, November 15th
Donald Trump’s idea of a good farm program seems to be “Hee Haw.” On a recent trip to Wisconsin, he drew guffaws from the state’s hard-hit dairy farmers by proclaiming that – thanks to his policies – the farm economy was looking good. “We’re over the hump,” he gloated.
Perhaps The Donald thought that farmers are rubes, unable to do simple math. But those dairy farmers were painfully aware that it costs them $1.90 to produce a gallon of milk, but the processing giants that control the milk market are paying them only $1.35 a gallon. That 55-cent-a-gallon loss quickly adds up to a huge loss of income, and a devastating loss of farm families – Wisconsin lost 638 dairy farms last year and another 551 so far this year.
Far from “over the hump,” farm prices have been further depressed by Trump’s tariff clash with China – US dairy sales to China fell by 54 percent in just the first half of this year. Meanwhile, monopoly power is crushing prices – an $8 billion behemoth named Dean Foods now controls 90 percent of Wisconsin’s milk market, empowering it to commit daylight robbery, blatantly stealing farmers’ product… and farms.
Yet, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue – the one national official who’s supposed to stand up for farmers – nonchalantly kissed them off, smugly declaring it natural that the big devour the small. So, he professes, there’s nothing he can do for family operators except tell them to “go out” of agriculture.
Perdue and Trump are simply inept stewards of America’s farm economy. Time for a change. One who is offering a path to a revitalized, family-farm-based food system that’ll break the corporate stranglehold over US agriculture is Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Download a summary of her comprehensive proposal for “A New Farm Economy” at ElizabethWarren.com/Plans/New-Farm-Economy.
“The devastation of farm country is biting us all on the butt,” https://hightowerlowdown.org/issue/may-2019/, May 2019.
“Wisconsin Governor Rips Sonny Perdue For Warning Small Dairy Farms Won’t Make It,” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sonny-perdue-wisconsin-dairy-farms-tony-evers-donald-trump_n_5d96bcb7e4b0f5bf797208b4, October 4, 2019.
Hightower’s commentaries are brought to you by The Hightower Lowdown, the monthly newsletter with Hightower’s take on what Wall Street and Washington are up to. For information, visit hightowerlowdown.org.
A 20th anniversary screening of the acclaimed documentary film “ The Return of Navajo Boy” is scheduled for this evening at 5 p.m. at the UW’s Chazen Museum, 750 University Avenue. The film tells the story of Elsie Mae Begay who, while watching a vintage film about her family in Monument Valley, identities her baby brother who was adopted by white missionaries in the 1950s and never heard from again. A panel discussion will follow the screening. Phone 263-2246 for information.
A free ukulele workshop for adults and children over 10 years will be offered on Saturday, November 16th, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Madison’s Central Library, 201 West Mifflin Street. Members of the Madison Area Ukulele Initiative will help beginners play simple chords in a relaxed, fun learning environment. Ukuleles will be provided. Phone 266-6300 for information.
The Street Pulse newspaper seeks innovative ways to raise awareness of homelessness and poverty. They are looking for volunteers to write, interview, edit and fundraise. The Street Pulse staff meets every Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Union. Check Today in the Union for room location. For more information visit streetpulsenews.org
The Insurgent Radio Kiosk is a four minute pre-recorded segment featuring a commentary and a calendar of daily events. Events must be low cost or non-profit and of interest to people in and around the WORT listening area. Please submit announcements at least ten days before the event at wortfm.org/kioskannouncements.
The Kiosk is available online at wortfm.org/kiosk.
This has been the Insurgent Radio Kiosk heard weekdays at 5:00, 6:30 and 9:00 AM and at 2:00 PM. With Engineer Alida, I’m Union Maid.
Submit announcements at least ten days in advance of the event at wortfm.org/kiosk/announcements