Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) directors had plenty to say to the many hopefuls trying to fill the 201 open seats in the Minnesota legislators during Farmfest 2016, which was held Aug. 2-4 at Gilfillan estates near Redwood Falls, Minn.
MSGA President Theresia Gillie, along with several directors, used the annual ag show as a stage to host more than 30 candidates, peppering them with questions about biodiesel, GMO technology, property taxes, the Minnesota buffer law and other issues surrounding agriculture.
Giille, who was a panelist for a Congressional forum, said the three-day event was a success.
“We spoke with a lot of candidates and got a better understanding of their position on ag-related issues, and we were able to tell them our story of farming and how laws and regulations effect our bottom line,” she said.
Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives came together for a forum Aug. 2 at Farmfest. The most common theme among the candidates was regulation, which often times places an unnecessary burden on farmers.
“Regulation against smaller businesses is getting tougher,” said DFL candidate David Snyder, who is challenging Tom Emmer in the 6th Congressional District. “More and more of our small farmers are falling behind because of regulation meant for large farmers.”
Most of the panelists agreed that regulations can be burdensome, especially when the regulation doesn’t solve the problem, but rather causes problems.
Among the topics discussed between the panelists and the candidates were genetic engineering, renewable fuel standards, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and the farm bill, which was debated as a bill that either remains with SNAP or stands alone on its own.
Seventh Congressional District incumbent Collin Peterson had strong opinions on his challenger’s suggestions that the farm bill be split into two with each program being strong enough to stand on its own.
“If you want to make sure there is never another farm bill, that’s the way to kill it,” he told the crowd.
Wednesday, Farmfest 2016 played host to several Minnesota candidates hoping to fill out the 201 open seats in the Minnesota House and Senate. Among the topics discussed were transportation and infrastructure, property taxes, young farmers, the buffer law and the relationship between rural and urban Minnesota.
“I think it is imperative that we come up with unique revenues that take into account that we will be using less gas as a country,” said Chris Swedzinski (R) 16A. Swedzinski told attendees that transportation and infrastructure are important for Minnesota, but that the funding mechanism was going to be a key element for fixing the problem.
While politics dominated the discussion at Farmfest 2016, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) also took to the grounds at Gilfillan Estates to share the many projects and programs the Council invested in on behalf of Minnesota soybean farmers.
Among the highlights, the Council sponsored a session with University of Minnesota grain marketing specialist Ed Usset, who talked about developing a post-harvest marketing plan. The Thursday program was kicked off with attendees being treated to mini donuts cooked in High Oleic soybean oil, which offers healthful benefits compared to traditional soybean oil.
The Council also handed out bright yellow safety vests to attendees who asked a question about the soybean checkoff. The Council also partnered with Farmfest and Ag Utilization Research Institute (AURI) on four, $500 biodiesel giveaways.
MSR&PC served as one of the major sponsors for Farmfest 2016.
MSGA Board Member Awarded University of Minnesota Farm Family of the Year
Robert and Lori Lindemans’ farm can be traced back to the 1880’s making Robert Lindeman a sixth generation family farmer. The farm was certified as a Century Farm in 1982. The original 160 acre farm in McLeod County has seen a variety of livestock over the years including cattle, pigs, chickens and ducks. The current farm consists of 900 acres of owned and rented land. Crops grown on the farm include corn, soybeans, wheat, sweet corn and peas. The family also operates Lindeman Seeds. Robert has been in seed sales for over 20 years.
In addition to her work around the farm Lori is a dental hygienist in Hutchinson. Daughter Mariele works full-time as an occupational therapist and Director of Rehabilitation at Oak Terrace Health Care. The Lindeman’s son, Bryce, majored in agronomy and crops and soil science at South Dakota State University and works for CB Agronomics.
Robert is a board member of the McLeod County Corn and Soybean Growers Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. Robert also just finished serving 15 years on the board of the Brownton Co-op and has volunteered his time with various community organizations. Robert and Lori are members of the Brownton Lions Club where Lori serves on the board of directors.