Cris Peterson. Source: PBS
August 26, 2020

Wisconsin Dairy Farmer Featured at Republican National Convention

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Cris Peterson, a Grantsburg Wisconsin dairy farmer, was featured at the Republican National Convention last night, voicing a full-throated endorsement of President Trump.

Peterson, along with her husband, Gary, and son, Ben, milk 1,000 cows 3X with robotic milkers. She credits Trump’s agricultural policies for her family’s willingness to continue farming after the Great Recession in 2015 and a devastating barn fire in 2017.

“As a businessman, President Trump understands farming is a complicated, capital intensive and risky business,” she said in her speech. “More than any President in my lifetime, he has acknowledged the importance of farmers and agriculture…. Our entire economy and dairy farming are once again roaring back. One person deserves the credit and our vote: President Donald J. Trump.”

Like other speakers at the political conventions, Peterson’s comments were subjected to fact checking by the national media. The Associated Press noted that not all dairy farms are thriving: The Agriculture Department reported this summer that ‘dairy herds fell by more than half between 2002 and 2019, with an accelerating rate of decline in 2018 and 2019, even as milk production continued to grow.’

Hector Tobar, an associate professor at the University of California-Irvine, writing for the New York Times, labeled Peterson’s presentation as one of the best moments of Tuesday's convention: "Cris Peterson, the Wisconsin dairy farmer who told a story about families pulling together in the wake of a crisis. It didn’t really have anything to do with Donald Trump, though she tried to give him credit for keeping the milk flowing. "

You can view the full video of Peterson’s speech here.