ICYMI: Wisconsin Farmers Raise Concerns About Democrat Policies Ahead of Joe Biden’s Visit

[Onalaska, WI] – In case you missed it, in an extension of his policy proposals that would crush family farms and hurt rural Wisconsinites’ way of life, Joe Biden abandoned his plans to visit a Wisconsin farm today, but Republicans are committed to listening to their concerns. Ahead of Biden’s visit, local farmers and agribusiness workers joined congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden, Sen. Patrick Testin, Rep. Tony Kurtz and Rep. Loren Oldenburg to speak out against Democrat policies that are crushing family farms.

Rural Wisconsinites criticized Biden’s proposed death tax, which would prevent farmers from passing down their multi-generational farms to family members, the additional $300 in federal unemployment benefit that is keeping potential workers home and crippling environmental regulations that threaten their ability to do business.

Read more from the La Crosse Tribune below:

Local Republicans, farmers talk farm issues ahead of Biden visit
La Crosse Tribune
Olivia Herken
June 28, 2021

ONALASKA — A group of Republican lawmakers and local farmers spoke Monday on concerns they have with the industry ahead of a visit from President Joe Biden, who is set to focus on agriculture and infrastructure topics.

The group expressed concerns over some new Biden proposals, such as the increased taxes on inherited wealth (sometimes known as the “death” or “heritage” tax), as well as the effects of environmental regulations, workforce shortages, supply chain issues, increases in technology costs and more on the industry.

Derrick Van Orden, R-Prairie du Chien, a candidate for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, said he is taking around seven key issues raised by farmers back to his staff to find solutions.

“We have to get politics out of the way and allow these farmers to continue producing food for all of us,” Van Orden said.


A tax increase proposed by Biden was top of mind for the group, many of whom were part of intergenerational farming families. The measure — which an analysis from the Tax Foundation found could result in combined taxes as high as 61% on a $100 million inheritance — is included in Biden’s tax plan that could help pay for new spending on his agenda.

John Schaller, owner of Morning Star, said this particular measure makes him the most uneasy as he looks to pass his farm on to his son.

“In order to keep these family farms going they have to be able to pass it on to the rest of the family, and when they have this death tax in there it makes it nearly impossible or very, very, very, very difficult,” Schaller said.

Republicans were critical of the boost to unemployment benefits implemented during the pandemic, which many conservatives have argued is keeping individuals from returning to work. Meanwhile, those on the left say workforce issues are the result of low wages and a new outlook on work-life balance among workers, prompted by their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, encouraged the farmers at the roundtable to bring their workforce shortage issues to Gov. Tony Evers, and said that after the pandemic, “we should be finding ways to get the boot of government off your backs, as opposed to trying to find ways to put more pressure on.”