Minnesota Soybean Business

Faces of MSGA: Paul Torkelson

September-October 2020

Understanding the importance of farm-friendly policy is second nature to Minnesota Representative Paul Torkelson. The Watonwan County native is a fourth-generation farmer himself.

“I’ve been farming since I moved back to the farm in 1980,” Torkelson says. “We decided to come back to rural Minnesota to establish our careers and raise our family.”

Paul Torkelson farms in Hanska and serves as Minnesota’s 16B representative

Before his time as a GOP representative, Torkelson was active with Minnesota Farm Bureau, where he spent time lobbying legislatures at both the state and federal level on ag policy.

“I have seen how important that work is in having an effect on what happens in St. Paul and Washington D.C.,” Torkelson says.

Torkelson’s credits his local soybean board with stirring his interest in agriculture policy. His passion for advocacy interest led to Torkelson running for office in 2008. Today he sits on several committees, including the Ways and Means and Transportation and Finance and Policy Division committees.

“(Former ASA President) Roger Asendorf was an inspiration to me and all the young farmers to get involved and to help us understand the value of MSGA,” he says.

Torkelson encourages others to join MSGA even if they aren’t farming.

“People who benefit from growing the soybeans goes well beyond just the farmer in the field,” he says.  “A lot of people contribute and benefit from the raising of soybeans in the state of Minnesota,”


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