This week I attended the Wisconsin Valley Fair; this fair and the many others that will be happening around our area this month is a celebration of our family farms, community values and our rural way of life. But all the things we celebrate at these fairs are slipping away. Family farms are closing, communities are growing smaller and smaller as young people leave. Our rural way of life is disappearing. It’s clear that what we have been doing is not working and we need new leadership in our state to bring back rural Wisconsin.

Farmers, the backbone of the rural economy, are struggling. The President’s tariffs are killing our agricultural sector. Now is not the time to close off markets when our farmers are yielding record product. While a state legislator doesn’t have the power to implement or stop tariffs at will, they do have the power to call out the administration and speak on behalf of the farmer – we don’t need a yes-person.

There are other ways we can help rural Wisconsin out as well. We can expand access to healthcare opportunities so farming families don’t have to worry about losing coverage. Regulations can be simplified, and our state environmental regulators can work with farmers to keep our lakes and streams clean. We need to stop telling people how to farm and then leaving them with the burden of enacting new regulations without further guidance or financial assistance. Most importantly we need stability across state and federal government, so we can build a stable agricultural economy that will thrive again once given a chance.

Please take some time to attend a fair near you this month. Talk to those who are displaying their blue-ribbon vegetables and prize-winning farm animals to understand the struggles of those who feed our country and the world.