Harrisburg, Pa. – “Rural communities are nothing more than a vote at the ballot boxes for the Trump administration," said one speaker today during Rural America 2020's press conference.
The press conference, which included the former Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, was an effort to call attention to the negative consequences the policy's of the Trump administration have had on rural communities.
Rural America 2020 is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advocates for policies which benefit agriculture and rural committees.
Speakers at the press conference included, Dennis Wolff, a 5th generation dairy farmer and former Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture; Dr. Elizabeth Wolff, a family physician and consultant in Columbia county; John Scott, a 7th generation grain farmer near Pittsburgh; and Libby Baker-Mikesell, a rural Pennsylvanian living on her family's beer farm.
Each of the speakers highlighted a different aspect of rural life which has been impacted by the Trump Administration.
Dennis Wolff commented on the growing number of rural farmers who are going bankrupt and selling their farms as a result of Trump's trade war.
"A family farm is more than just a business, it's something that has a lot of pride in it," Wolff said. "The family farm where you live is a huge part of the rural economy."
Both Libby Baker and Dr. Elizabeth Wolff discussed the importance of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which Trump has urged the Supreme Court to repeal before Nov. 3, and the importance healthcare access and policy has on the lives of rural individuals.
Dr. Wolff said Trump's slow response, and lack of clear national policy, to the COVID-19 crisis "meant less time to prepare medical staff, prepare the business community, and no time to prepare the agricultural community" in rural communities across the country.
Once the owner of a 7th generation dairy farm, John Scott said his family was forced to transition to beef and grain due to the drop in dairy prices.
In 2019, one-third of all farm profits came directly from government subsidies created to make up for funds lost due to the Trump trade deal, according to Scott.
The members of Rural American 2020 continue to highlight the "failed leadership" and "empty promises" of the Trump administration and plan to continue "elevating voices of rural Americans" in hopes that they will be able to "change the narrative" about Trump's leadership.
"Rural communities are nothing more than a vote at the ballot boxes for the Trump administration. The administration has turned its back on the very community that has helped elect it," said Scott. "Enough is enough, we need change now.”