Minnesota Farm Bureau extends our thoughts and prayers to all who have been impacted by the recent floods. Your Farm Bureau is working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency, U.S. Senators and Representatives, members of our state legislature and others to assess the amount of damage and determine what actions – both short-term and long-term can be taken to help ease the pain of our members. Farm Bureau members will be engaged with policymakers as we look towards a special session, and how it relates to agriculture and rural Minnesota.
The loss of personal property has been great. Many items can be replaced (that’s why we have a Farm Bureau Insurance Company), but every family has those treasures that will never be able to be replaced. Remember to document crop, livestock, farm buildings, conservation practices and facility losses. It is always good to have an inventory of all items, farm and household, to help navigate through an insurance claim or disaster assistance.
In addition to all the flooding issues in the state, Minnesota Farm Bureau will be engaged in another issue – “Troubled Waters,” a new documentary about the Mississippi River. Farm Bureau members are very clear about our commitment to the environment. As farmers who live on or near the land that our families farm, we understand the importance of protecting our natural resources and through modern conservation and tillage practices, we are minimizing the loss of soil therefore protecting our lakes and rivers.
Minnesota farmers have made tremendous improvements in both production and conservation of soil and water resources in the past 40 years. Improved nutrient management practices due to better crop genetics, better fertilizer and manure application equipment and a better understanding of the necessary rate and form of fertilizer all contribute to gains in nutrient efficiency, resulting in reduced fertilizer applications relative to crop production.
You can be sure that Farm Bureau members will work with governmental agencies and researchers to continue developing new technologies to conserve natural resources and protect our environment.
Nearly five years after detecting bovine tuberculosis (TB) in northwestern Minnesota, the Board of Animal Health has received notification that the USDA will upgrade the majority of Minnesota to TB-Free in October 2010. Minnesota Farm Bureau appreciates the tireless work of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, MDA, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the USDA and all stakeholders in moving our entire state towards becoming TB-Free.
Farm Bureau recently hosted the 2010-2011 FFA State Officer Team in our state office. If you are ever in doubt about our future, take the time to visit with one of the 523,309 FFA members in one of the 7,487 chapters across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. These young leaders reminded your president that FFA is more than sows, cows and plows! In fact, FFA is active in 15 of the 20 largest U.S. cities demonstrating the importance of agriculture to every consumer.
These members are developing skills in leadership, communications, team building and civic engagement and will be prepared to provide for the social, economic and cultural well-being of small communities and large urban centers alike. MFBF appreciated the opportunity to update the State FFA Association on our organization and local, state and national issues.
As a farm safety instructor, I must close with a reminder to be safe this harvest season. The recent flooding will cause some additional problems this fall.
Please be careful, remember to check in on a regular basis, fuel not only your equipment but yourself with the right fuel, get enough sleep and use the warning lights and slow moving vehicle signs as your travel field to field. I encourage all Minnesotans to put an extra emphasis on farm safety this fall. Slow down and stay alert, aware and alive.