September 6, 2019 Media

Amateur Hour with Michelle Fischbach

Michelle Fischbach has been running for Congress for less than a week, yet it is already painfully obvious how out-of-touch she is with the people she’s trying to represent. Her limited grasp of agricultural issues was thrown into stark relief in several key ways this week:

1) Fischbach Doesn’t Know Basic Crop Prices

When Michelle Fischbach was asked about the price of a bushel of soybeans in an interview on KFGO (7:00 into the interview), her response revealed just how little she knows about farming in Minnesota.

Host: … For example, okay, what is a bushel of soybeans worth right now, roughly?

Fischbach: I didn’t look this morning, I’m sorry. 

Host: Well just give me a roundabout figure.

Fischbach: I, you know what, I, I’m sorry, I can’t do that right now.

As the host points out during their interview, questions about the general price of Minnesota’s top agricultural exports are not “gotcha questions,” they are questions anyone hoping to represent an agriculture-heavy district should be able to answer.

2) Fischbach Doesn’t Understand Trade with China

In that same KFGO interview, Fischbach claimed that “China has been cheating farmers for a long time,” which is not the case. While China has been a bad actor in other industries, Minnesota farmers export roughly $1.5 billion to China annually. The trade ties our farmers have formed with Chinese importers have been extremely profitable and a boon to Minnesota’s economy.

Instead of demonstrating any deep knowledge on the topic, Fischbach seems to fall back on a set of basic talking points that simply do not comport with the reality farmers are facing. It should concern voters that she does not have even a basic understanding of Minnesota’s relationship with our biggest agricultural export market.

3) Fischbach Supports a Trade War that’s Devastating to Farmers

Fischbach has pledged support for Trump’s trade war, which is having a devastating effect on Minnesota farmers. A recent report published by the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State found that, in 2018:

  • Median Minnesota farm income fell to its lowest levels in 23 years
  • Median income for Minnesota farmers was down 8% from the previous year
  • The bottom 20% of Minnesota farmers reported losing an average of $72,000
  • Minnesota pork producers income was down over 70% from the previous year

A separate report released this year by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland found that Trump’s trade war could cost over 900,000 jobs in the United States and over 16,000 jobs in Minnesota. 

“Michelle Fischbach has nothing to offer the farmers of western Minnesota,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “It is clear that Fischbach does not understand the basics of crop prices or agricultural trade, and that should disturb voters across the 7th congressional district. Minnesota farmers are up against a lot right now, and they deserve better than an amateur like Michelle Fischbach.”