MSGA meets with lawmakers, protects seed treatment use  

Membership in the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) means supporting an advocacy team with direct connections to legislative leaders.  

Case in point: On April 16, MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek met with Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, who chairs the House Environmental Committee, to discuss MSGA’s concerns with a proposed ban on soybean seed treatment registration labeling. 

Following the discussion with Smentek, Rep. Hansen went on the record during the committee hearing to say he would delete the amendment in the Environment and Natural Resources Supplemental Finance and Policy Bill.  

“I’m working with the Soybean Growers,” Rep. Hansen said. “I think we can find common ground.”  

MSGA has remained active in defending the use of seed treatments. Smentek said he appreciated the dialogue with Rep. Hansen.    

“We had a great discussion with Rep. Hansen,” Smentek said. “That was a provision that was very troubling to us, and we were glad to work with him and we look forward to working with him on some of the other provisions.” 

MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek testifies in the House Environmental Committee on April 16, 2024.

During the House Environmental Committee hearing, Smentek testified about the definition of the Public Waters Inventory. Smentek previously testified in February during MSGA’s Hill Visits. MSGA has reservations about the committee’s proposed changes to the definition of public waters.  

“Our farmers like the regulatory certainty that the Public Waters Inventory gives,” he said. “We like to see a process where these maps are fixed so our farmers have regulatory certainty. … and not be subject to lawsuits.”  

Smentek enjoyed a productive day on the Hill. He and MSGA’s lobbying team also visited with Senate Ag Committee Chair Aric Putnam, House Ag Chair Samantha Vang, Sen. Nick Frentz and other legislative leaders.  

“Membership in MSGA is critical to putting boots on the ground,” Smentek said. “Our presence at the Capitol is sustained by our members, and our members are who we’re fighting for in St. Paul and Washington, D.C.”  

To join MSGA, the nation’s longest-running state soybean association, visit mnsoybean.org/msga/invest/.  

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