Sixteen Farm Bureau members from across Minnesota met with Congress members during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation's Farmers to Washington, D.C., trip Sept. 12-16.
Among the attendees were Goodhue County Farm Bureau members Amanda Carlson of Welch and Katie Winslow of Cannon Falls. Carlson and Winslow are finalists in the 2017 MFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet competition.
Participants met with Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Reps. Tom Emmer and Rick Nolan, and staff members from the offices of Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen, Jason Lewis, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison and Collin Peterson.
"This trip gives me a renewed appreciation for my Farm Bureau membership. The relationships that Minnesota Farm Bureau has cultivated with our members of Congress is evident," Carlson said. "It's great to know someone is working on our behalf making sure rural America is not forgotten in D.C. while we are at home in our fields and our barns."
"Being a part of a grassroots organization such as Farm Bureau allows me to see the true impact that we, as citizens, can have on the political process," Winslow said. "The issues of trade, taxes, farm bill and health insurance that we discussed affect all of us. By sharing our story with our elected officials, we ensure that they know how we in agriculture feel."
During the meetings, attendees discussed Farm Bureau's farm bill priorities including the importance of keeping nutrition as part of the bill and protecting risk management programs. They also discussed the need for affordable and available health care, tax and agricultural labor reform, delisting the wolves from the Endangered Species Act and the importance of keeping and expanding market opportunities through international trade.
In addition, attendees met with the minister counselor from the Cuban embassy and with U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's senior staff.