Farm Bureau members from Minnesota were among the nearly 500 attending the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Advocacy Conference, February 23-26. Farmers and ranchers gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss top policy priorities.
Participants met with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken; members of Congress Tim Walz, Eric Paulsen, Tom Emmer, Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson and staff members from the offices of John Kline, Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, as well as, U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway.
They discussed current priority issues including: the need for Trade Promotion Authority, delisting wolves from the Endangered Species Act and maintaining the integrity of the Clean Water Act.
“American agriculture and businesses rely on trade agreements to break down barriers and create a more balanced marketplace,” said Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) President Kevin Paap. “Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is essential to completing the trade agreements currently being negotiated. Farm Bureau members strongly encouraged our Congressional delegation to stand firm to show other countries we are ready to act on trade negotiations by passing TPA.”
“Farm Bureau members also shared concerns regarding the recent court decision to relist the gray wolf on the Endangered Species Act (ESA),” said Paap. “We have been hearing from farmers, ranchers and pet owners about the devastating attacks and threats from the wolf with no option to protect their animals. Minnesota has done and will continue to appropriately manage the wolf population. Congress needs to ensure that management is returned to the states, and federal protection is removed now that the wolf is no longer endangered.”
“The definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ remains a priority for Minnesota Farm Bureau,” said Paap. “The proposed rule provides none of the clarity and certainty it promises. Farm Bureau members urged our Members of Congress to have EPA withdraw their proposed rule in order to draft a rule that actually conforms to the limits approved by Congress in statute.”
Farm Bureau members that were in Washington D.C. last week included: MFBF President Kevin Paap; Nathan Collins - MFBF District IV Director; Marlin Fay - Mower County AFBF Energy Advisory Committee; Jeremy Geske - Le Sueur County AFBF Environmental Regulations Committee; John Gilbertson - MFBF District VI Director; Jake Hein - Becker County AFBF Public Infrastructure Committee chair; and Bob Roelofs - MFBF District II Director.
Minnesota Farm Bureau – Farmers ● Families ● Food is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureau associations across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota, www.fbmn.org.