US Senate Candidate Kevin Nicholson didn’t grow up on a farm, but he said he understands what those in the agriculture field face.
The Delafield native and former Marine worked as a ranch hand on a small farm in Wyoming for about a year. He learned about the risks farmer face like environmental and taxation hurdles. He appeared at the Sauk County Dairy Breakfast in Reedsburg June 9, taking time to meet with the people cleaning up from the event.
“Farmers and ranchers are business people,” Nicholson said. “They have to make investments and strategically build that risk and I saw that myself.”
He said it’s that understanding of farmers having access to markets to sell their products he takes with him going into the senate primary race against fellow Republican candidates for the position, Leah Vukmir and Griffin Jones.
“The problems that Wisconsin farmers have, whether they are dairy or crop or whatever the case might be, is they want to be able to sell abroad and not have to deal with having tariffs slapped on their products,” Nicholson said. “They don’t want to deal with competitors in other countries that have subsidized goods coming into our country.”
In regards to tariffs he said he believes President Donald Trump’s overall goal is to “get to a world without tariffs” and to create a “more level playing field” when it comes to trade on the international level.
“What the President is doing, and I applaud him for, is he is saying let’s go back and re-visit those trade deals and get rid of those tariffs,” Nicholson said. “But to do that sometimes you have to negotiate and you’ve got to push back on countries like China and he’s doing that right now.”
He said a lot of issues regarding in the agriculture industry comes down to trade, especially with the nations trade partners “using unfair practices at the governmental level” to change the structures of their pricing and quantity of products. An example he gave was when the European market lifting its milk quotas, creating an oversupply of dairy products and suppressing prices.
“This is my whole point let’s get rid of all that,” Nicholson said. “Let’s let American and Wisconsin farmers compete on fair grounds… We have the best farmers in the world in Wisconsin. I am more than eager to open up markets to them and let them get out and trade.”
The primary election is Aug. 14.