MSGA drives dialogue at Farmfest

Although 2023 isn’t an election year, legislators and agency leaders arrived in droves to the Farmfest. On Tuesday, directors from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association visited with Sen. Amy Klobuchar following the senator’s visit to MSGA President Bob Worth’s farm in Lake Benton. Worth, who’s in his final year as president, also participated in a rural policy forum and highlighted the need to uplift the next generation of farmers.

 “We need to be talking about getting them into the industry,” he said.

Grower-leaders also met with Whitney Place, executive director of USDA’s Minnesota Farm Service Agency, along with several federal appointees.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz visited MSGA’s booth and received an update on the Plasma Blue technology and expressed his support for the next building phases of the Ag Innovation Campus. The governor has attended every Farmfest since he first ran for Congress in 2006.

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association directors visit with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon at the 2023 Farmfest.

“We don’t always agree with Gov. Walz, but we certainly have a great amount of respect for him, and it’s our job to find common ground and educate on how the legislature’s policies have real impacts on our farmers,” Worth said. “Those conversations are important to have.”

Following the House Ag Committee listening session, committee members from both sides of the aisle, including Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson, met with MSGA directors and learned more about the current growing conditions in Minnesota, along with MSGA’s federal policy priorities.

“It’s great to visit with D.C. legislators in a relaxed and informal environment and get to know each other a little bit better,” MSGA Vice President Darin Johnson said. “That’s what unique and fun about Farmfest.”

Directors visited with new and returning members and promoted MSGA’s legislative wins during the 2023 session. As a result, MSGA signed up nearly 50 new members. In MSGA’s latest fundraising effort, growers also began selling $100 raffle tickets for a customized side-by-side, which will be awarded Jan. 18, 2024, at MN AG EXPO. To learn more about the raffle, contact MSGA’s office at 507-388-1635.

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