The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association celebrated sixty years of advocacy in a big way at Farmfest.
Throughout the three-day festival, farmer-leaders met with dozens of state and federal officials, talking farm-friendly legislation and the path forward as MSGA looks ahead to the 2023 Legislative Session. Meetings took place with Reps. Angie Craig and Michelle Fischbach, and Brad Finstad, the Republican candidate for the open First District Congressional seat.
“We had many good conversations with legislative candidates and state agency leaders and candidates from both sides of the aisles,” said MSGA President Bob Worth, who also talked Farm Bill priorities during a Congressional Candidate Forum. “That’s what we’re all about: Having a conversation with folks to find common ground and solutions.”
Wednesday morning, MSGA met with Scott Jensen, the Republican nominee for governor of Minnesota. President Bob Worth and Director Lawrence Sukalski spoke with Jensen on a number of issues, including high input costs, biodiesel and MSGA’s 2022 policy priorities. Later that morning, Jensen participated in a fiery policy debate with Gov. Tim Walz.
Wednesday afternoon, MSGA hosted its highly anticipated 60th anniversary, connecting current directors with past presidents. Special guests included Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen, Sen. Gary Dahms and State Auditor Julie Blaha.
“It’s great to have Bob as president. What’s old is new again,” Petersen said. “I think about 60 years – it shows you have staying power. It shows your importance. … It’s great to see.”
During the celebration, Gov. Tim Walz visited Minnesota Soybean’s booth bearing a special gift. To mark MSGA’s 60th anniversary, the governor informed MSGA that Sept 24, 2022 (exactly 60 years since MSGA held its first board meeting in Sleepy Eye) will be “Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Day” in Minnesota.
“It’s with great pleasure that I get to issue a proclamation,” Walz told farmer-leaders before discussing policy opportunities.”
On Thursday, MSGA visited with Rep. Paul Anderson, Commissioner Petersen and MDA Deputy Commissioner Andrea Vaubel. Both Petersen and Vaubel renewed their MSGA memberships.
“We sure appreciate the folks at MDA for supporting MSGA,” Worth said. “Commissioner Petersen and his team have been tremendous advocates for soybean farmers.”
Executive Director Joe Smentek said the organization once again delivered its nonpartisan grassroots message at Farmfest.
“This Farmfest had a huge legislative presence and we were able to discuss challenges and opportunities with candidates in a relaxed atmosphere” he said. “Hopefully our message got across as we start to plan for 2023.”