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Americans For Farmers & Families’ Casey Guernsey Explains Harmful Retaliation Impact On Farming Communities

FOX BUSINESS’ STUART VARNEY: “And now this, our next guest is a seventh-generation farmer.  He says tariffs are already hurting his line of business.  Joining us is Casey Guernsey with Americans for Farmers and Families.  Casey, how is it that your business in farming is already being affected when the tariffs have not yet been imposed?”

CASEY GUERNSEY: “Well, this is a really busy time of year for farmers regardless of what you raise because it’s spring and you make a lot of decisions for the rest of the year based on what’s going on right now.  And with a lot of the uncertainty that’s going on with a lot of the discussions relative to the tariffs to China and certainly the renegotiation of [the North American Free Trade Agreement] NAFTA, consider taking that and compounding it with the markets, what they’re doing, what’s happening [is] farmers are cutting back on their expenses.  They are evaluating what they’re going to invest in, their staff levels, what they’re going to raise and where they’re going to raise it.  And for my operation with my dad, we raise bulls for genetics and our customers are traditionally beef farmers and while they’re reevaluating what they’re going to do for the rest of the year, that includes what they’re going to buy for genetic stock.  And we are one of the first that is on the list of things to consider to invest in and that directly affects our operations.”

VARNEY: “So, if you’ve already seen a slowdown in business of all kinds in the farming community, how is the farming people, the community, how is it reacting to President Trump, because I would have thought that farmers in general are pretty much pro-Trump.  Are they still?”

GUERNSEY: “Yeah, I would say so.  I mean we understand what’s going on.  We understand that China has been a bad actor for a long time and they haven’t been held accountable, and what President Trump specializes in is making a good deal and that’s why we supported him.  We need a good deal.  Over the last five years, our farm income has steadily dropped every year and has projected to be cut again this year probably, and we have faith that the president does have our best interests in mind, that he does want to negotiate a good deal with NAFTA, which is paramount to us, considering all of these factors.  And at the same time, we understand what’s going on with China and believe that they do need to be held accountable to a degree, but these tariffs are very concerning and we don’t support going down the road of increasing tariffs.”

VARNEY: “Real fast, Casey, if you’re a seventh-generation farmer, does that mean that the land has been in your family since what 1850?  1860?  Something like that?”

GUERNSEY: “So, in Harrison County, we have been farming for a long time, since the 1840s.”

VARNEY: “1840s, wow.”

GUERNSEY: “And my farming has been farming all over the county.  So, I don’t live on a farm that’s been in my family that long, but we have been in the business that long.” (FOX Business, 4/13/18)

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