Ohio Farmer

What if the candidates were farmers?

The Back 40: Here’s how I imagine the candidates as farmers.

Gail C. Keck, freelance writer

March 3, 2020

3 Min Read
Red, white and blue hats and coat hanging on wall hooks
CANDIDATE QUESTION: If our presidential candidates were farmers, what kind of farmers would they be? Gail C. Keck

Editor’s note: This column was written before Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren withdrew from the presidential race.

Even though we’ve already heard plenty from the presidential candidates, there’s one question I haven’t heard them answer: If you were a farmer, what kind of farmer would you be?

Somehow, I doubt it will be brought up in any debate, but based on their views and activities outside of agriculture, maybe we can come to our own conclusions. You might have a different view of your favorite candidate, but here’s how I imagine the candidates as farmers:

Bernie Sanders. Even though he could easily afford a nice truck, he drives an old rust bucket. He never changes into a clean shirt before going to town because he wants everyone to think he’s a small, struggling farmer. But, in fact, he has considerable acreage and is worth millions. Even so, he likes to criticize “big” farms (any farm bigger than his).

Pete Buttigieg. Established farmers in his community are keeping an eye on him because they’re afraid he’ll steal away their rented land. Widow lady landowners like him because he’s a veteran, and he’s young and personable. However, he doesn’t have much farming experience, and his early attempts at farming have not been particularly successful.

Joe Biden. He had a moderately successful farming operation for years, then formed a partnership with another farmer, which greatly improved his profitability. Then his partner got out of farming and ever since, he’s been talking about recreating the success he had with his partner. His neighbors are skeptical, though. He talks a lot about his record yields, but no one has ever seen proof.

Elizabeth Warren. She runs a profitable CSA, with an enthusiastic customer base of suburban moms. She likes to take selfies with her customers and uses the pictures for marketing on social media. She likes attending farm meetings to further her education, but she complains if registration isn’t free.

Amy Klobuchar. She works off the farm, but she is trying to expand her part-time farming operation so she can quit her job. She seeks out advice from other farmers in the community, big and small, and asks insightful questions. Even so, she hasn’t been able to put together a focused business plan for her own farm, so she’s barely making a profit.

Michael Bloomberg. Before he started farming, he made a fortune in his off-farm career. Now he’s convinced farming is easy, and he expects to make a small fortune in farming. All the neighbors agree that the only way he has a chance of making that small fortune is to spend a large fortune.

Donald Trump. He got his start farming with a loan from his dad. He’s been in legal and financial trouble multiple times over the years, but he always manages to bounce back more successful than ever. He used to sell lots of hay to the livestock farmer across the creek until he caught the livestock guy borrowing tools from his shop. He gave the neighbor a bill for tool rental, and the neighbor stopped buying hay. He claims they’ve patched up their differences, but he still has a barn full of unsold hay. He’s also recently made enemies of other neighboring farmers by outbidding them for rented land in order to set his son-in-law up in farming. How long he’ll be able to stay in business is currently in question.

Keck writes from Raymond, Ohio.


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