Friday, March 11, 2011

Wisconsin Farmers Union to drive tractors to Madison to Participate in Rally at the Wisconsin Capitol

The Wisconsin Farmers Union is planning a "Tractorcade" to Madison, Wisconsin, read the full press release from the Wisconsin Farmers Union website:

For immediate release
: March 9, 2011
For More Information Contact: Scott Schultz 715-723-5561 (office) or 715-533-5906 (cell) 
Hightower to join farmers during farmers’ ‘tractorcade’ and rally Madison, Wis. (March 9, 2011) – Nationally syndicated populist columnist Jim Hightower will join Wisconsin family farmers during a tractorcade and rally Saturday at the state capitol in Madison.

The Farm Labor Tractorcade, sponsored by Wisconsin Farmers Union and Family Farm Defenders, will have a tractor parade 10-11 a.m. from John Nolan Drive to Capitol Square. The tractor parade will be followed by an 11:30 a.m. rally at the capitol.

Hightower, a long-time political activist and former Texas agriculture commissioner, will add to voices from farmers who want Gov. Scott Walker and supporters of his budget repair bill and biennial budget proposal to hear how the bills would hurt family farmers and rural communities.

“Much has been said about billionaires or union ‘bosses’ calling the shots about what happens with this legislation,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden, a Westby-area dairy farmer. “The drive for this tractorcade and rally came directly from farmers and is being done under farmers’ direction.”

“Our grass-roots farmers say it’s wrong to take away things like BadgerCare and destroy our public schools when that doesn’t really have to be done,” said FFD Executive Director John Peck.

Family farmers say the bills would potentially take BadgerCare from the approximately 11,000 family farm people who depend upon BadgerCare as their primary health insurance, and that the bills will destroy rural schools.

Farm Labor Tractorcade organizers are inviting participants and supporters to wear green during the tractorcade and rally to reflect the event’s grass-roots nature.

Farmers who want to drive their tractors in the tractorcade should contact Peck at the FFD office, telephone (608) 260-0900, or

The tractorcade will approach the capitol John Nolan Drive to Broom Street, and then on Broom Street to Wilson Street. It will continue on Wilson Street to Hamilton Street, and then to Capitol Square. The tractors will be on the square until about 11 a.m.
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Wisconsin Farmers Union, a member-driven organization, is committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities and all citizens through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors and civic engagement."

Earlier in the week, almost immediately after the State Senate passed Walker's bill, the president of the Madison Firefighters Union advocated for a general strike, "first statewide, then nationwide."