LEXINGTON, Neb. (KNOP) - Fixing the trade issue in china, listening to farmers and rejoining the TTP. Those are just some of the things one local farmer is asking President Donald Trump to address for the American Farmer.
Corn on the Baite farm in Lexington, NE. (Source: Holly Barraclough, KNOP TV)
Don Batie is a corn and soybean farmer from Lexington. He took to twitter this week to state his opinions and ask for help, and changes, for his fellow producers.
His tweet as of Friday, has over 780 likes and over 185 retweets. Batie said he's been receiving a lot of support and people agreeing with him that somethings need to change for them to continue to be successful in what they do.
"The tweets I put up yesterday were in response that President Trump had a meeting in the Oval Office trying to figure out what he can do because the ag communities the Midwest is very upset, especially the most recent waivers he granted for the ethanol mandate," said Batie.
Batie also said long-term he is optimistic about the outlook on farming, but a few things need to be adjusted to help the now. "Long-term I’m very optimistic I think American ag, especially Nebraska, we have the resources and hopefully we've got a whole new crop of young farmers coming up."
Batie said it's been one of the toughest years of farming he's seen since he started. "This year has been a very tough year farming, which is no surprise to any of your viewers. The weather has been horrible and the stress level on at Producer’s is the highest I’ve seen since back in the 1980s when I first started farming."
He also wanted his fellow farmers to keep their chin up and realize they are not alone in their struggles.
"The thing I’d like to emphasize more than anything else is that if a farmer struggling, especially emotionally struggling, to seek help immediately," said Batie, "If you’re starting to struggle, look me up I’ll be willing to talk to anybody."
Another suggestion he has if a farmer is struggling, "f you think you’re going to have a struggle, the first thing you need to do is go talk to your banker. Be upfront with them. Most of our ag bankers know what’s going on, it’s not shock, but talk with them. Most of the ag bankers will work with people, especially the earlier talk to them the better off you’ll be."
Batie's full tweets read:
"Dear President @realDonaldTrump, somehow I missed my invitation to your Oval Office meeting on how to “appease” the American Farmer. Since I didn’t make it here is my list of things to do immediately:
1. Fix the trade issue with China today! Not soon, TODAY!
2. Rejoin the TPP, now the CPTPP. While I know you do not like multilateral trade agreements, they are better than no trade agreements.
3. Tell the oil industry to take a hike and stop issuing RFS waivers. And tell EPA to reassign the waivers already granted to other refiners, like the law says to do. In other words, FOLLOW THE LAW!
4. Tell @SecretarySonny
that farmers are not in a joking mood when facing financial ruin because of YOUR government’s action. Most farm operators (actual farmers, not landowners) are, or will be, having difficult discussions with their banks.
5. All the farmers left today are shrewd small independent businessmen and businesswomen. Treat us that way, don’t pander to us. All we ask is an even playing field. Don’t tell us one thing and do another. Listen to us, not the folks inside the beltway.