Dairyland Forum to Draw Presidential Candidates to Dunn County | WisCommunity

Dairyland Forum to Draw Presidential Candidates to Dunn County

February 19, 2020 - 12:18pm
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The national spotlight is turning to Wisconsin as a pivotal state in the 2020 presidential election. The rural vote in swing states like Wisconsin will be particularly crucial to a presidential win. A coalition of farm and civic groups hopes to use that opportunity to highlight the impacts of monopoly power in the agriculture and food sectors and to elevate the issues that matter to rural America.

Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) hopes to bring candidates to a forum in Menomonie, WI on Sunday, March 29 to the Dairyland Forum and Rally for Rural Wisconsin. The event is free and open to the public, and will provide a forum for candidates to engage with voters on issues of importance to agriculture and the rural voters. 

“Monopolization and lack of enforcement of federal anti-trust laws are having a direct impact on family farms and businesses across Wisconsin, and the Dairyland Forum will offer an opportunity to learn more about that topic while also celebrating and sampling the great local fare America’s Dairyland has to offer, with craft beers, cheese, brats and more,” said WFU Executive Director Julie Bomar. “We will also have a great line-up of family farmers and rural and civic leaders slated to speak throughout the day on the issues impacting family farms and rural towns.”

The event will be held at the Dunn County Fairgrounds, 620 17th St., Menomonie. The doors open at noon, with the Rally for Rural Wisconsin kicking off at 1pm and candidate forum at 2pm, followed by a call to action and music, dancing and sampling of locally produced food. Attendees may RSVP at ;">www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/dairylandforum. Bus routes are being organized from the Appleton, Superior and Madison areas, with more details to follow.

WFU is organizing the event in partnership with Citizen Action, Equal Exchange Co-op, Family Farm Action, and Voces de le Frontera. Candidates will be asked questions about monopolization in agriculture, loss of family farms, decline of rural and tribal food systems, education, roads and transportation, access to health care, capital to address growing mental health and addiction issues in rural communities, and their vision for a fair and just economy that helps all people thrive. WFU does not anticipate final confirmation from candidates until the final days leading up to the event; candidates will be announced as they are confirmed.

“Farmers and rural communities are suffering from the increasingly harmful effects of lack of competition in markets like seed, dairy, livestock processing, grain, and fertilizer,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden. “Today ‘The Big 4’ companies now control the majority of meat processing in the United States. It’s time that we address corporate power in food systems and political life and look toward a fair economic democracy that serves all people.”

WisCommunity will attend the event and provide coverage throughout, probably via streaming video.

Steve Hanson
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Menomonie, WI