WRDN Hosts Wisconsin Town Hall Meeting

WRDN HOSTS WISCONSIN TOWN HALL MEETING — Brian Winnekins (WRDN, Durand, Wisconsin) reports his station organized a May 29 Town Hall Meeting to discuss how the current farm crisis has affected farmers and their families. “Because we are heavy in farm programing and have many farm listeners, we felt this was something that needed to be done. We had about 80 people there made up of farmers (mostly dairy farmers) along with agribusinesses. We had one dairy farmer who talked about how he almost committed suicide in 2008 and that a neighbor did commit suicide last year. Another farmer talked about how he had to sell his farm to his sons for about half-price so the sons could continue with the farm.  Another farmer talked about how the milk price now is about the same as in the ’80s and that he can’t cut any more out of his living expenses or business expenses to make ends meet. Participants also talked about how it appears that those who live in the cities don’t appreciate or care what happens to them even though its farmers feed everyone,” Winnekins said. “One farmer talked about how he just wants a fair price for his product; and if all of those issues are not bad enough, another farmer talked about alfalfa winter kill this year, which means there are many livestock farmers running out of feed for their animals. Another farmer talked about how he can’t afford food at the grocery store, but he doesn’t qualify for the SNAP Program. We also talked about what some farmers are doing to help themselves. One farmer talked about how he set up a monthly luncheon with other farmers at his church just so they can get together and know that they are not alone. A common theme was that farmers just want people to listen to them and understand what they are going through.” The Town Hall Meeting received TV coverage from WEAU and WQOW in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The link from WEAU is  https://www.weau.com/content/news/Community-hosts-farm-crisis-meeting-to-discuss-mental-health-510584141.html. Winnekins served as NAFB President in 2016.