MSGA, ASA directors heading to Capitol Hill

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) is returning to Washington, D.C., July 16-18, 2024, to promote farm-friendly policies during meetings with lawmakers and regulatory leaders. The visits are in conjunction with the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) biannual Hill Visits.

Minnesota currently supports seven directors on ASA, including Strathcona farmer Jim Kukowski, who sits on ASA’s Executive Committee.

“With the August recess around the corner and election season upon us, this is a great time for us to deliver our message to our congressional leaders,” Kukowski said. “We’re proud to have a group of farmer leaders from across the state who are passionate about representing our state’s soybeans producers.”

In addition, MSGA President Darin Johnson and Secretary Kyle Jore are also attending the Hill Visits, along with Executive Director Joe Smentek.

“I’m excited to continue building relationships on the Hill and represent our state’s farmers,” said Jore, who farms in Thief River Falls.

Strathcona farmer Jim Kukowski serves on the American Soybean Association’s Executive Committee.

On July 17, two groups of Minnesota farmer leaders will team up to meet Minnesota’s congressional delegation and their legislative aides. MSGA is also hoping to engage with federal agency officials during the week in the nation’s capital.

“Whether we’re meeting with the legislators or their staff, Hill Visits are a unique opportunity to engage directly with elected officials and discuss the policies that are affecting Minnesota and the nation’s farmers,” said Johnson, who replaced Bob Worth as MSGA president in June 2024. “There are certainly a lot of issues and policies to talk about.”

In addition to federal farm-related priorities, which include the Farm Bill, promoting biofuels and regulatory issues, Minnesota farmers anticipate legislators will want to discuss recent flooding in portions of the state. Following a request from Gov. Tim Walz, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved an emergency declaration for 22 counties: Blue Earth, Carver, Cass, Cook, Cottonwood, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Jackson, Lake, Le Sueur, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, St. Louis, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Watonwan.

“It’s been a tough season for a lot of producers, and we appreciate that our leaders in D.C. are concerned about that,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of support from folks on both sides of the aisle.”

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