WRDN Radio’s Brian Winnekins tells Radio Ink his team organized a town hall meeting Wednesday because it “needed to be done” to help the local community. WRDN (Durand, WI) is very important to the farming community and the station has a lot of farm listeners. The focus of the meeting was to discuss how the current farm crisis has affected farmers and their families. And, unless you’re a farmer, you may not know how bad it really is.
The audience was made up farmers and agribusinesses. Winnekins says one dairy farmer shared the details about why he almost committed suicide and that his neighbor did commit suicide last year. “We had another farmer talk about how they had to sell their farm to their 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 how they cannot cut any more out of their living expenses or business expenses to make ends meet.”
Farmers also spoke about how it appears that those that live in the cities don’t appreciate or care about what happens to them even though it’s the farmers that feed everyone. One farmer spoke about how they just want a fair price for their product, and another said that, because of all the alfalfa winter kill this year, there are many livestock farmers running out of feed for their animals.
Winnekans said they also spoke 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. The common theme was that farmers just want people to listen to them and understand what they are going through. Other topics included the need to pass the USMCA, getting whole milk back into the lunch lines at schools, and getting the FDA to properly enforce the labeling laws when it comes to plant-based beverages that are labeled as milk when in fact those beverages don’t meet FDA’s definition of milk.”
Wisconsin State Representative Jesse James who is on the state assembly leaders suicide prevention task force.
Dr. Josie Rudolphi from the National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield, WI.
Frank Friar from the Wisconsin Farm Center.
Tom Petri, State Legislative aide for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.
Gregg Wavernick — Legislative aide for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Paula Winter from the Pepin County Human Services Department.
Mike Travis — Agriculture Extension Agent for Pepin County.
Heidi Stewart — Pepin County Health Director.
Reach out to Brian to congratulate him on a job well done and for showing us how important local radio is to our communities at [email protected]
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