Minnesota Farmers Union members call for swift Farm Bill passage, end to trade war, strong RFS at NFU Legislative Fly-In
Sept. 17, 2018
Together with approximately 350 other Farmers Union members from the United States, 32 Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members and staff traveled to Washington, D.C. Sept. 12-14 to advocate for family farmers and rural residents at the 2018 National Farmers Union (NFU) Legislative Fly-In.
“It’s a critical time for agriculture with net farm income set to decrease by another 13 percent in 2018, according to the USDA Economic Research Service, after it had decreased by more than 50 percent over the previous five years,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “We met with our whole Minnesota Congressional delegation at the Capitol and told them we need to pass the Farm Bill as soon as possible, to end the trade war and to stop the issuing of unnecessary Renewable Fuels Standard waivers to oil refineries. Each of these would provide significant relief and certainty for our family farmers and rural residents.”
As part of the Fly-In, MFU members attended a briefing at the United States Department of Agriculture, hearing from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and several other high-ranking agriculture officials in the Trump administration. They also heard from other members of Congress from across the country who are invested in agriculture policy.
Lastly, MFU presented the Golden Triangle awards to both of Minnesota’s Senators and four Representatives. The Golden Triangle is an award from NFU recognizing elected officials who have shown leadership and dedication to improving the livelihoods of family farmers and ranchers. The honorees from Minnesota are:
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
U.S. Senator Tina Smith
U.S. Representative Tim Walz, District 1
U.S. Representative Tom Emmer, District 6
U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, District 7
U.S. Representative Rick Nolan, District 8
MFU members who participated in this year’s NFU Legislative Fly-in were Tracie and Bob Berg of Clements; Larry and Gina Jacobson of Hitterdal; Dan Miller of Spring Valley; LouAnne Olson of Crookston; Gene Paul of Delavan; Alan Perish of Browerville; Kyle Schulz of Sebeka; Anne Schwagerl of Browns Valley; Keith Speltz of Altura; Tim and Connie Velde of Granite Falls; and Ted Winter of Fulda. Jade Person of Oklee attended as part of the NFU National Youth Advisory Council.
Attending with MFU representing the Battle Lake FFA chapter were Emily Cole and Melody Lundquist, along with Battle Lake FFA Advisor Traci Block.
Staff from MFU, Farmers Union Insurance Agency (FUIA) and Farmers Union Industries (FUI) attended as well, including MFU President Gary Wertish and his wife Jeanne; MFU Vice President Bryan Klabunde; FUIA President Rodney Allebach and his wife Linda; FUI CEO Dan Hildebrandt and his wife Deb; FUI Marketing and Communications Director Alyssa Hammerschmidt; MFU Operations Director Laura Sherar; MFU Government Relations Director Thom Petersen; MFU Renewable Energy Director Michelle Medina; MFU Public Relations & Communications Director Brita Moore; and MFU Outreach Staff Diana Rico and Peter Ripka.
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).