© Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images Marty Krocak operates his tractor as he plants soy beans in one of his fields on June 7, 2019 in Montgomery, MN. Dairy and crop farmers across the Midwest are going out of business due to the Trump-era tariffs and the operating costs of farming, which have made it impossible to turn a profit. Bob Krocak, a fifth generation farmer and his family, closed their dairy business in May 2018 and sold most of their dairy cows. Drowning in debt, and now having to auction off dairy equipment, the Krocaks are going to farm organic crops, beef cattle and hogs. They are hoping to make enough money to pay back vendors and suppliers and keep the farm afloat for the next generation.
A perfect storm of factors has led to the biggest crisis for American farmers in decades.
Fremont, Wisconsin — For nearly two centuries, the Rieckmann family has raised cows for milk in this muddy patch of land in the middle of Wisconsin. Mary and John Rieckmann, who now run the farm and its 45 cows, have seen all manners of ups and downs — droughts, floods, oversupplies of milk that sent prices tumbling. But they’ve never seen a crisis quite like this one.
The Rieckmanns are about $300,000 in debt … (MORE)