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Minnesota Members Return from Washington, D.C.
By Communications Director

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members joined more than 275 fellow farmers, ranchers and rural citizens from across the country in Washington, D.C., Sept. 7-10, for the National Farmers Union annual fall legislative fly-in.

Minnesota Farmers Union fly-in participants were able to meet with several U.S. Senators and Congress Persons to discuss rail improvement, fair trade transparency, renewable fuel standards and other issues that have effects on their farms. One major component of the fly-in was having the opportunity to present the Golden Triangle award to the key leaders who stand behind Minnesota Farmers Union and National Farmers Union policy. These leaders are Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Al Franken, Representative Colin Peterson, Representative Tim Walz and Representative Rick Nolan.

“Having Minnesota Farmers Union members in our nation’s capitol lets them speak directly with representatives in Congress, and tell the real story of family farming. We help members of Congress understand that action is important to family farmers and rural communities,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Our members had good conversations with congress people about the issues impacting them, including Country-of-Origin Labeling, trade policy, Transportation Surface Transportation Board and the Renewable Fuels Standard. Making farm and ranch issues real to congress persons is the purpose of the fly in. Face-to-face meetings with congress people are the reality of politics, people and getting things done in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Capitol Hill visits, MFU members met with USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. Discussion centered around current United States water issues and Farm Bill implementation.

Minnesota Farmers Union members who attended the fly-in include Carol and Steve Anderson of Foley, Douglas Fjerstad of Fosston, Marvin Jensen of Kensington, Cherryl Johnson of Hoffman, Robert Johnson of Clearbrook, Jennifer and Bryan Klabunde of Waubun, Linda Larson and Brian Rohrenbach of Rosemount, Judy McCollum (Minnesota Farmers Union Agency) and David McCollum of Mahnomen, Richard Moen (Minnesota Farmers Union Industries) of Clearbrook, Gene Paul (National Farmers Organization Policy Advisor) of Delavan, Alan Perish of Browerville, Mike and Kay Peterson of Northfield, Robert Ryan of Bird Island, and Grant Smude (FFA Essay Contest Winner) and Cara Smude of Morrison.

Staff members included President Doug Peterson of Madison, Vice President Gary Wertish of Renville, Field Representative Amanda Rosendahl of Swift County and Government Relations Director Thom Petersen of Pine City.