cory bennet

Membership and Legislative Update Meeting Draws Polk County Farmers

Over 40 growers gathered in rural Fosston at the Rick Roed Farm in Polk County on Feb. 16 to hear about the latest environmental issues affecting farmers and learn about the upcoming Minnesota legislative session, beginning March 8.

Joe Smentek, Minnesota Soybean director of public affairs, gave his presentation, Buffers, Bees and Biodiesel, where he highlighted the environmental issues which will continue to impact soybean farmers.

Smentek was joined by Minnesota Soybean Growers Association’s (MSGA) lobbyist, Cory Bennett and biodiesel lobbyist, A.J. Duerr. Bennett updated farmers on the legislative issues in the next session and discussed how some of the dynamics in St. Paul could be a factor. Duerr highlighted the recent accomplishments for biodiesel and explained what is in the pipeline as we move towards 2018 and increasing the biodiesel blend mandate to B20 (containing 20 percent biodiesel).

Rep. Debra Kiel, R-Minn., also attended the meeting and spoke to growers about the short upcoming session.

“This session is going to be fast and furious,” Kiel said, who farms with her family near Crookston, Minn., and serves as vice-chair for the House Agriculture Finance committee.

Theresia Gillie, MSGA vice-president; Mike Skaug, MSGA treasurer; and MSGA director Jim Kukowski attended the meeting and discussed the work MSGA is doing for farmers while showing the value of membership at the grassroots level.