Dan Fabian District 01A

Freeman: An Inside Look at MSGA Hill Visits

On February 12, bills where submitted in both the Minnesota House and Senate to address University of Minnesota Ag research funding, but more on that subject shortly.

How far those bills go depends on YOU!!! Contact your legislator in support.

Paul Freeman

Paul Freeman

Ok, moving past my call to action for this post, I wanted to let you know we’ve been busy on your behalf.

Last week, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association convened on the Minnesota Capitol for their annual day on the hill. The plan was a little different this year with the restrictions ongoing construction at the Capitol places on accessibility.

To meet the challenge of navigating change we put extra effort in getting the right producers at the right place at the right time.

The attitude of the legislative body this year seems to take the responsibility of governance more seriously. There still is political hurdles that all are aware of, yet at the end of the day they figure out ways to work together.

Our major topic addressed the need to reverse the downward trend in research funding for agriculture at the University of Minnesota. There is some urgency because we are requesting additional funding that needs to be part of target budgets this month.

Credibility was gained for this issue by speaking in one strong voice by having over a dozen Ag groups sign on in support.

Buffer strips came up in the conversations but with few details available, we just reminded lawmakers that universal swath plans hurts everyone, and that farmers know how to treat their land. Water issues, over regulating, property taxes, and transportation also where talked about.

Later in the day, the MSGA hosted a reception with the help of a large seed company’s sponsorship. We had an excellent turnout because of an earlier start and close proximity to the Capitol.

I personally liked the format of the reception as it provided for good dialog back and forth in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition to legislators, several department leaders stopped in to chat.

The week before, I stopped in for AgriGrowth’s legislative reception. It was a great networking event and a chance to relay current challenges. I always look forward to working with this group because they are great influencers for Minnesota agriculture. This was again witnessed when they hosted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week.

Paul Freeman is a soybean farmer from Starbuck. He is Vice President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and is the chair of the Advocacy action team, which is made up of 12 MSGA directors. Paul can be reached at paulfrankf@hotmail.com.