Participants met with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken; members of Congress Tom Emmer, Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson; and staff members from the offices of Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen, John Kline and Betty McCollum.
During the meetings, attendees discussed the importance of keeping the Farm Bill programs and nutrition programs together, continuing public-private crop insurance and risk management programs, commodity and conservation programs, the financial stress occurring because of low prices and high input costs including rapidly rising health insurance premiums, the availability to obtain individual health insurance, and the importance of expanding marketing opportunities through international trade.
In addition, attendees gathered with Iowa Farm Bureau members to meet with Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative and Randy Krotz, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance CEO. They also met with U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
“This experience outfits our leaders with the tools they need to become strong advocates for agriculture and rural Minnesota,” said President Kevin Paap. “It allows them to share their stories, build relationships and bring policy development and rulemaking to life for our Farm Bureau members. It 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 county Farm Bureau leaders, state P&E Committee members and YF&R contest finalists.
YF&R contest finalists earned this trip by competing in the 2015 MFBF YF&R Achievement Award and Excellence in Agriculture contests held during the MFBF Annual Meeting in November 2015 or the 2016 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.
Minnesota Farm Bureau representing Farmers • Families • Food is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureaus across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support our efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota, www.fbmn.org.