Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Heitkamp predicts upcoming crisis for farmers

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | September 11th, 2018

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp moments before speaking at what was supposed to be a debate with current U.S. Congressman Kevin Cramer before farmers at the Big Iron Farm Show on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - photograph by C.S. Hagen

FARGO – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp quietly took the stage at the Big Iron Farm Show Tuesday morning, first moving a large poster away from gathering eyes.

“Congressman Cramer (declined to participate),” the sign read.

She made no mention of why Kevin Cramer keeps refusing to debate her on the issues during this year’s race for the U.S. Senate, a seat she currently holds. Five times so far, Cramer has refused to debate, even as the country, and especially North Dakota, stand on the brink of another farming crisis because of President Donald Trump Administration’s trade war.

Cramer declined the Red River Farm Network invitation to speak at the agricultural forum because he had a high-dollar fundraiser in Dallas, Texas on Monday. U.S. Senator and Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas arranged the fundraiser, which ran $1,000 to $50,000 per person.

Cornyn, like Cramer, is supported heavily by the oil and gas industry, with so far this year raising $90,150 from Energy Transfer Equity, an affiliate of Energy Transfer Partners the parent company of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, according to Open Secrets Center for Responsive Politics.

Cornyn is also listed as the representative for the Republican Alamo PAC, which so far donated $5,000 to Cramer this year. The high-dollar luncheon fundraiser came a week after President Donald Trump flew into Fargo to help Cramer raise money. Cramer falls far behind Heitkamp in fundraising this year, having solicited $3.2 million against Heitkamp’s $10.8 million.

While Cramer, who has been called out on his support of the current trade war with China, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, was away in Texas, Heitkamp predicted a bitter future for North Dakota farmers before more than 50 concerned farmers.

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp calls herself the chief bitch-er when bringing up farmers' issues in Washington D.C. - photograph by C.S. Hagen

“This is the eleventh week,” Heitkamp said. “Why do I say that? Because this is the eleventh week where there’s been absolutely no orders for soybeans into the Pacific Northwest. That is two-thirds of the North Dakota market.”

Historically, two out of every three rows of North Dakota soybeans went to the Asian market, Heitkamp said.

“This has become a big issue in agriculture, the question is: How much patience do you have? Can you wait until next year and if it’s not resolved by then can you wait until the next year? Do you wonder why the problem is not intellectual property? Why it’s not Apple that is getting hit, why are farmers?

“Why are we so complacent about the collateral damage in a trade war? And at the end of the day how many of you think if we do a deal with China we’re actually going to improve the market for soybeans in North Dakota?

“So the problem that I have is that we have so-called ‘short term pain’ in trade. You know what? There’s no such thing as short-term pain in trade. We’re losing markets, we’re losing markets at a rate that is dizzying.”

China has already said they can live without American soybeans, Heitkamp said. Under orders by the Central Government the agricultural sector may shift gears into sunflowers, rapeseed and other products.

“This trade disruption is real,” Heitkamp said. “This short-term pain is not an accurate way to portray what is happening right now because there is a potential after millions and millions of dollars have been spent to develop the Asian market, the Chinese market, that market is gone to us.”

Heitkamp likened the future of agriculture in the state to the 1980s farming crisis, where those involved in agriculture were fighting more against inclement weather than politics.

Although crop insurance programs are now available when farmers experience bad weather, there is only a $12 billion Band-Aid that came in the form of an aid package to help farmers through the trade war this year.

“People accuse me of being unpatriotic, disloyal but I call it how I see it,” Heitkamp said. “And the way I see it is that this is going to have long-term ramifications that are going to affect agriculture in North Dakota for a long time. The time to speak up is now; it’s not to wait until next year. The time to say this is not right is now.

“So, my job apparently is chief bitch-er,” Heikamp said. “I’m the chief bitch-er, I’m bitching about trade and I’m bitching about the aid package and I’m bitching about people being collateral damage in North Dakota.”

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp speaking before farmers on current policy issues and the trade war - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Heitkamp then said the trade war will only continue to hurt farmers, one day soon creating a real crisis.

“We are now on the brink of a crisis in farm country that is completely policy driven,” Heitkamp said. “Think about that. The economic crisis that we’re going to experience in farm country is being driven by policy, it’s not being driven by weather, it’s not being driven by bad farmers, you’re the best farmers in the world.

“Why is it we are struggling? We’re struggling because of bad policy.” 

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Savanna’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Friday and will move to the U.S. House of Representatives.The bill, S. 1942, is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comI held it off for as long as I could, but the other day, I caved. I thought I was doing okay. I made all the strong arguments. I applied the five canons of rhetoric, just like you’re supposed…

Wednesday, December 12, 6 - 8 p.m.The Historic Holmes Theater, 806 Summit Avenue, Detroit LakesJoin legendary singer-songwriter Larry Long and Friends, along with Winona LaDuke for an evening of music and storytelling to benefit…

Title X was established in 1970 and is the only federal family planning program that provides grants to a number of providers of family planning and related health services. It was designed to provide information, supplies and…

What Is The Fastest Growing Religion?Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center and the Hartford Institute for Religious Research indicate that one in four Americans do not belong to any religion. In fact, the largest…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

It was Tuesday night, not an average night for a date, but with busy schedules you eat when time allows. I had been eyeing 46 North since in utero, the concept of pints and provisions is more easily stated by bar and grill, but…

Music

Midwest roots

by Sabrina Hornung

When Iowa born roots musician William Elliott Whitmore describes his latest album “Kilonova,” he likens it to a mixed tape, it’s all covers ranging from Magnetic Fields to Captain Beefheart, Jimmie Driftwood and more. He said…

Based on the subject’s candid memoir, “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” pulls back the curtain on the sexual escapades of Scotty Bowers, longtime bartender, World War 2 Marine Corps veteran, and pimp/arranger on…

“If I go to France and eat French food and write like the French. When I was in Yugoslavia I was working as a Yugoslavian. When I went to Paris for three years I worked with a French influence. Then I came here and I become…

by Nataly Routledgenatalyroutledge@googlemail.comMOORHEAD—Do you like theater? Do you have about 85 minutes of spare time? If your answers to these questions were yes, then it would be advantageous for you to know about Theater…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comphotography by Logan MacraeEver wish you could go to your favorite brewery without leaving your house? Finally, you can (sort of). Kilstone Brewing is now doing limited can releases of some…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“(Søren) Kierkegaard…has opened our eyes to the shallowness of much of our pseudo-Christian life, and to the outright deception in politics which Christianity has been made to serve.” - William Hubben“The people starve…