Leaders from the Minnesota Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) program joined Minnesota Farm Bureau President Dan Glessing, state board members and staff as part of the annual Farmers to D.C. trip, Sept. 12-15.

Five couples from across the state had the opportunity to meet with elected officials and other agriculture and government leaders to share their experiences, providing insight on both opportunities and challenges facing the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

Attendees included Brad and Amanda Durow (Dakota County), Mark and Sara Hewitt (Le Sueur County), Jason and Caitlin Keck (Steele County), Tyler and Cailyn Nelson (Pine County) and Dustin and Katie Wiese (Cass County), board member Keith Allen, and staff members Amber Glaeser, Rachel Reisig and Dennis Sabel.

Starting the trip off with a visit to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) offices, the group then met with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, Representatives Brad Finstad and Angie Craig, and staff from the offices of Representatives Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Betty McCollum and Pete Stauber over the next two days.

The group also connected with staff from the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, leaders from The Russell Group, and White House staff.

A primary focus of all the discussions was the 2023 Farm Bill, including what programs currently work, and others that need updates or additions.

The Farmers to D.C. program is open to any MFBF member to attend. YF&R Contest finalists in the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture competition or Discussion Meet earn the opportunity to attend as part of the contest prizes.