Daniel Mushrush in front of a pen of beef animals© Kandace Griffin

My name is Daniel Mushrush.  I am American, a Yankee, a gringo, and all those other names. 

We have had the pleasure of hosting groups from Mexico, Argentina and Jamaica recently, so I may go ahead and answer the first question they asked and I am sure is on your mind – what is the deal with Donald Trump?  

In all honesty I didn’t vote for him. I voted third party, which is the American equivalent of lighting your ballot on fire, but I was not shocked that he won either.  

See also: Read more from our livestock Farmer Focus writers

Barack Obama was a far cry from the wonderboy that foreign media projected him to be. In fact, he was terrible for agriculture. 

His proposed Waters of the United States (Wotus) regulations was a power grab so the federal government could regulate even mud puddles on farms after rain as if they were a navigable water like the Mississippi River. 

I’m sure you have heard the talk of US healthcare. Obama made it better right? 

Not if you are self-employed and not on welfare (hello rural US). My health care costs have more than doubled and our state went from countless options to a single bad one. There are many, many more examples.

Trump will be complicated for agriculture. He constantly lies, says things that make the evening news inappropriate for my young daughters, and may start a third world war.

But Obama’s bureaucratic red tape is being cut and trade is vital to rural America. 

When he starts talking about getting out of trade deals it makes us nervous. Yet Japan doubled their import tariff on US beef a few weeks ago while their crazy neighbour shot missiles over their land. 

Immigration will also be a sore topic. No doubt about it, we need migrant labour to make our system work. The average American is too lazy.

Taxed to the hilt

Tax reform is also necessary. The estate taxes put on agriculture mean that in many cases you owe the government 50% when an owner passes. 

To pay the government, the next generation literally must sell the farm. Trump’s team is working on tax reform to fix this. 

So hopefully he does more good than harm for agriculture. He won’t be worse than the last guy. 


Daniel Mushrush is a third-generation Red Angus breeder in the Flint Hills. The Mushrush family runs 800 pedigree registered Red Angus Cattle and 600 commercials across 4,856ha, selling 200 bulls a year and beef through Mushrush Family Meats.