Participants met with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken; members of Congress Tim Walz, Eric Paulsen, and Collin Peterson; and staff members from the offices of John Kline, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, and Michele Bachmann.
During their meetings, Farm Bureau members discussed EPA’s proposed rule to greatly expand their authority under the Clean Water Act, and how it will affect their ability to conduct normal farming activities without improving water quality. They thanked Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann and Peterson for voting in favor of legislation to prohibit EPA from implementing their rule and urged the Senate to follow suit. The participants also urged the Congressional delegation to act quickly on extending expiring tax provisions including Section 179: Small Business Expensing and bonus depreciation, and reminded them of the importance of addressing agricultural labor programs as part of immigration reform.
In addition, attendees delivered 1,400 signatures to EPA urging them to withdraw their proposed rule to expand the definition of “Waters of the United States.” These signatures were collected from across the state at county fairs, Farm Bureau meetings, Farm Fest and the State Fair. The public comment period remains open until October 20, and comments to the EPA via the Minnesota Farm Bureau website, fbmn.org, are highly encouraged.
“This experience outfits young farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to become strong advocates for agriculture and rural Minnesota,” said Miles and Sarah Kuschel AFBF YF&R Committee members. “It also brings politics and rulemaking to life for our Farm Bureau members and instills the importance of discussing the issues that are important to us. If we are not sharing our story, then someone else will be.”
Trip attendees included AFBF YF&R Committee members, state YF&R Committee members, and YF&R contest finalists.
YF&R contest finalists earned this trip by competing in the 2013 MFBF YF&R Achievement Award and Excellence in Agriculture contests held during the MFBF Annual Meeting in November 2013 or the 2014 Discussion Meet held at the MFBF Leadership Conference in January. In addition to the Washington, D.C. trip, state contest winners receive a $500 cash prize, a trip to the AFBF YF&R national leadership conference and a trip to compete in the AFBF contests. For more information about the MFBF YF&R program, contact your county offices or visit fbmn.org.
Amber Hanson Interview on WNAX
Shannon Kuball Interview on Minnesota Farm Network
Miles Kuschel Interview on WNAX
Mark Hewitt Interview on KWOA