Alfalfa County Farmer Hope Pjesky Offers a Producer's Perspective on Free Trade, Tariffs, USMCATue, 28 May 2019 11:25:49 CDT
Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the organization Farmers for Free Trade last week, held a joint news conference to highlight the importance of free trade and to promote the passage of the US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA). Local farmer, Hope Pjesky of Alfalfa County, was invited to speak during the conference to share how low commodity prices and trade disruptions with key markets compounded by tariffs, have impacted her family’s operation and livelihood. She visited with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn after the event to talk more about her experience with the current strenuous economic situation. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
“It’s added a great deal of uncertainty to the markets and one thing you figure out pretty quickly as a farmer is that any excuse the markets can have to make prices go down - and uncertainty is one of the good ones - they’ll take it,” Pjesky said. “I’m not an economist but I think there’s been a lot of things related to trade specifically with Canada and Mexico that have impacted our markets.”
Pjesky asserts that the USMCA’s ratification would help alleviate much of the uncertainty that exists, not just for agricultural producers but for all those connected and supported by the industry.
“I think a lot of people don’t recognize all of the jobs that agriculture supports in urban areas,” she said. “Ag is everywhere in Oklahoma. Even the urban places.”
To help people understand that fact and the importance of free trade, Pjesky says it is up to the farmers and ranchers themselves to spread the message and share their stories.
“We definitely need to share our story and we need the people who hear our story to share it with other people. These trade agreements are about building jobs and supporting our industries in our country. So, when we hear negativity about it, we need to correct it,” she said reiterating the importance of the USMCA’s timely passage. “I am a 100 percent believer in true free trade. I think that hopefully it will end up good, but there’s a lot of pain in the process right now.”
Listen to more of Pjesky’s thoughts on free trade and the USMCA, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below to hear her full conversation with Horn.
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