Minnesota Farmers Union members, staff advocating for family farmers in Washington, D.C.
Sept. 6, 2018
Together with nearly 350 Farmers Union members from the United States, 35 Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members and staff will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to advocate for family farmers and rural residents at the 2018 National Farmers Union (NFU) Legislative Fly-In, Sept. 12-14.
“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,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “Our elected officials need to hear from real family farmers and rural Minnesotans to see how important it is that they act on the Farm Bill, trade agreements and biofuels as soon as possible.”
The Fly-In will begin on Sept. 12 with a visit to the United States Department of Agriculture. Afterwards, members will meet with Congressional leaders to let them know how the policies that are coming from the nation’s capital are affecting family farmers, ranchers and rural communities around the country. MFU will meet individually with Minnesota’s Congressional delegation and senators.
This year, Farmers Union’s main points of discussion with members of Congress will be what’s needed in the federal Farm Bill, which expires on Sept. 30; long-term solutions for the current trade war; and expanding the market for homegrown biofuels.
MFU members participating in this year’s NFU Legislative Fly-in are Carol and Steve Anderson of Foley; Tracie and Bob Berg of Clements; Larry and Gina Jacobson of Hitterdal; Dan Miller of Spring Valley; Richard Moen of Clearbrook; 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 will attend as part of the National Youth Advisory Council.
Additionally, two members of the Battle Lake (Minn.) FFA Chapter will attend with MFU: Emily Cole and Melody Lundquist, along with Battle Lake FFA Advisor Traci Block.
Also attending will be staff from MFU, Farmers Union Insurance Agency (FUIA) and Farmers Union Industries (FUI), 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 Debbie; 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.
Follow the Fly-in activities on social media with the hashtag #NFUFlyIn18.
# # #
Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).