Finding a dairy farmer to talk to turned out to be a challenge, it’s harvest time and plenty were more focussed on their grain than the Australian reporter on the other end of the phone line.
When we tracked Mark Reuth down though, he was happy to show us around. His small herd of about 70 was enough to keep and his wife busy, but they’re more focussed on breeding and show cows.
The reason for our fascination with dairy farmers is this single bloc of voters could turn one of the most important states in the US.
Last year in Wisconsin around 800 dairies closed, leaving just 7,000 open. To put that in context, in the 1950’s there were 100,000 and that fell to 44,000 by 1980. Wisconsin is the cheese state and proud of it!
Around 60% of rural voters turned out for Donald Trump, and they’re reliable at actually showing up at the polling booth if they say they will.
In Wisconsin last election it essentially took 20,000 voters changing their mind to deliver Donald Trump the state.
And it turns out trade wars are among many concerns, including how the pandemic is managed and an increase in civil unrest. There’s every indication Wisconsin could still be a tight race.