The Frost farm outside of Rochester has been in the family for generations, all the way back to President Abraham Lincoln. As President Donald Trump visited the area, soybean farmer Mike Frost is concerned about Trump’s tariffs, “he said trade wars are easy, they’re not as easy as he thought.” Most of the beans still in the field here are pre-sold, but a portion of them end up in China so that creates some uncertainty for global markets long-term for this farmer.

Other farmers Frost talks to appear to be sticking with Trump. The Minnesota Poll showed the president’s approval rating was falling in southern Minnesota, in the congressional district he won handily. Frost is a political independent, votes across party lines and thinks we’re witnessing history in these polarized and interesting times. He concluded¬†“This is kind of an exciting time, when you’re going through it, it’s kind of nerve-wracking too.”

Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Kathleen Harrington says the presidential visit says a lot about the importance of politics in the politically competitive home to Mayo Clinic. Business is booming in Rochester thanks to the Destination Medical Center development project. The city has an open mayor’s race for the first time in 17 years. She says the business community appears to be split, “it’s hard to say how the business community feels about President Trump.” ¬†Overall this business leader who worked for decades in D.C. says what’s happening in battleground Rochester is an incredible snapshot of America. She predicts “What happens here will be a bellwether of what happens in the rest of America.”



Mary Lahammer
Anchor, Reporter, Producer covering politics, government, history, food for Twin Cities PBS since 1998.