Farmers for Free Trade is gaining momentum from North to South this week. The bipartisan campaign chaired by Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Max Baucus (D-MT) that is leading the fight against tariffs announced a major new ad buy with ag publications in states across the country.
The ad buy is part of a new campaign called “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland” that is investing in local ads, town hall events on tariff impact in states across the country, and raising awareness about financial and job losses tied to the ongoing trade war. The advertisements will be a mix of radio, television, and print advertising that will run initially in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The advertising, which also includes TV spots on local and nationally syndicated ag TV and print ads, will run through September.
“These ads will speak to American farmers who are watching the value of their hard work decrease every day as tariffs force the price of their crops and livestock downward,” said Sara Lilygren, president of the Farmers for Free Trade board. “They are messages from farmers to farmers about how decisions in Washington D.C. are hurting their farms, their neighbors and the economy of rural America. We are taking the message that tariffs hurt ag directly to farmers at their breakfast tables, on their combines, and in the farm news outlets they check every single day.”
“Free trade is essential to the ag economy,” Indiana soybean farmer Brent Bible says in one of the radio spots that will be played in all ten states. “This is not a war that I signed up for. It’s not a war I want to be drafted for. Our farm and many others like ours will be the first casualties of a trade war.”
In addition to the ad buy, the Texas Farm Bureau, the voice of more than 500,000 farmers and ranchers in Texas, announced this week it will join Farmers for Free Trade.
Texas Farm Bureau joins the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, American Soybean Association, and multiple other agricultural, trade and commodity groups partnering with Farmers for Free Trade to strengthen support for trade in rural communities.
“International trade is a major driver of our Texas economy,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said. “There is no doubt the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has increased demand for U.S. agricultural goods, lowered input and production costs and spurred our economy. We welcome any modernizations to NAFTA, as well as developing new trade agreements, that will further expand market opportunities for farmers and ranchers. Working together with Farmers for Free Trade will allow us to have a united voice on trade.”