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Farmers for Free Trade launch national TV campaign to advocate for trade

Farmers for Free Trade launch national TV campaign to advocate for trade

All U.S. growers are encouraged to take part in the Voice of the Farmer initiative

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

A farmer-led trade advocacy group will have its support for free trade broadcast across national U.S. television networks over the next month.

Farmers for Free Trade has produced a short video that viewers of Fox, CNN and MSNBC will see during commercials.


The video features Michelle Erickson-Jones, a fourth-generation grain and cattle farmer from Broadview, Mont., and president of the Montana Grain Growers Association.

The 30-second commercial highlights the importance of trade and the potential damages that could result from restricting U.S. agricultural exports.

“We depend on free trade policies to maintain our export markets,” Erickson-Jones says in the commercial. “The crops that we grow here on this farm are exported across the globe. Policies that restrict trade would be devastating to farms like ours. Someday I’d like to pass the farm down to my boys. Mr. President, protect free trade and keep our agricultural economy strong.”

The short video is the starting point for Farmers for Free Trade’s “Voice of the Farmer” campaign.

The movement encourages American farmers to record short videos to show their support for free trade in hopes that President Trump will keep farmers in mind when negotiating trade deals.

“Trade is important to me because 50 percent of the wheat I grow on my farm is exported to a foreign country,” Randon Peters, a fifth-generation producer from McCook, Nebraska, says in his 30-second video. “That means every other row grown in this field, and every other field on my farm, is exported. Without free trade, it’d be hard for me to produce grain in Southwest Nebraska and feed the world.”

The “Voice of the Farmer” movement comes just over a week after President Trump placed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Those trade tactics, and the threat of retaliation from other countries, could hurt farmers. That’s why the video campaign is important, according to Richard Lugar, Farmers for Free Trade co-chair and former Senator of Indiana.

“Escalating trade tensions will invite retaliation targeted at our farmers and will raise the price of ag equipment and inputs,” he said in a statement yesterday. “We are working to ensure that American farmers are making their voices heard so that we avoid a trade war.”

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