Wisconsin farmer who spoke at RNC received $792k in subsidies

The Wisconsin dairy farmer who lauded President Trump’s economic policies at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday has received $792,000 in farm subsidies since 2005.

“As a businessman, President Trump understands that farming is a complicated, capital-intensive and risky business,” Cris Peterson said at Tuesday’s event. “More than any president in my lifetime, he has acknowledged the importance of farmers and agriculture.”

Peterson and her husband Gary run Four Cubs Farm in Grantsburg in northwestern Wisconsin, where they milk 1,000 cows with 16 robots. She’s also a member of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents.

Peterson’s farm has received $263,000 in corn subsidies, $212,000 in dairy subsidies, and $12,000 in soybean subsidies over roughly the last 15 years, in addition to various other federal subsidies, according to a public database of farm subsidies.

“Our entire economy, and dairy farming, are once again roaring back,” Peterson said at the RNC on Tuesday. “One person deserves the credit and our vote, President Donald J. Trump.”

Wisconsin had 57 farm bankruptcies last year, the highest in the nation. The state also lost 818 dairy farms in 2019, continuing a grim trend that has seen many of Wisconsin’s small farmers go out of business in recent years.

In addition to speaking at the RNC, Peterson has also been embroiled in a legal battle this year. The Burnett Dairy Cooperative in March filed a civil lawsuit against Peterson, her farm, and other family members, alleging that they had “engaged in a campaign of defamation and deception that has sullied the reputation of the Cooperative.”

Last year, UW officials toured Peterson’s farm as part of the launch of an $8.8 million Dairy Innovation Hub that will be run through UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls.

Email questions to lacrosseindependent@gmail.com.Top image shows Cris Peterson speaking at the RNC on C-SPAN on Tuesday.

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