Holte: Agriculture must stand united

Jim Holte
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President
Jim Holte is a beef and grain farmer from Elk Mound and president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

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.

Farmers and agriculturists expect and deserve the full truth. Agriculture is normally bipartisan, but recently we have seen the political spotlight turned our direction. 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. Wading through political rhetoric makes it difficult to find the full truth.

Related:Holte: Agriculture needs more unity

As a farmer himself, Secretary Perdue genuinely understands the business of agriculture and the challenges we are facing on our farms every day. Secretary Perdue cares about supporting farmers regardless of farm size, so it is unfortunate his comments have been taken out of context to suggest otherwise.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau represents farms of all sizes, types and commodities and is standing up to demand fair and accurate reporting.

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. 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. The future of the agriculture community depends on our teamwork today.

I ask reporters, or others, who have shared pieces that include inaccuracies about the Secretary’s comments to retract or revise those pieces to more accurately reflect the full context of the conversation.

Let’s all stand united to support one another and the full truth.