The second half of corn farm visits by 2018 candidates for Minnesota governor is in the books, with four candidates concluding our tour of farms to discuss the importance of agriculture. In the second half of visits, topics ranged from healthcare, to buffers, to property taxes, and more. While candidates varied in their experience on the farm, all came ready to discuss how they can help the state’s 24,000 corn growers.
Each candidate walked away with a unique experience that will help them make future decisions based on science and research, while understanding the significant importance of corn farmers to Minnesota’s economy.
Invitations to candidates for governor were extended earlier this summer as part of the “MN Corn Grows MN” campaign, which was launched to build better connections with voters and candidates for elected office to encourage a more informed dialogue about corn farming with all Minnesotans. You can read a recap of the first half of visits here.
Rebecca Otto is the current Minnesota state auditor, a position she has held since 2006.
Otto met with Harold Wolle and his son, Matt, on their Madelia farm in late October. The visit began with great conversation over cookies and coffee that touched on the importance of farm sustainability, modern conservation and the regulations impacting farmers. The winter-like day concluded with a tour of Wolle’s farm operation, including a close look at buffers and other ways Wolle is working to protect the state’s water supply
Paul Thissen is a state representative who represents a district in south Minneapolis. He was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2002.
Thissen visited the Northfield farm of Bruce Peterson and his family last week on another unseasonably cold day. The tour began in the shop, where the group discussed issues that have recently impacted the Peterson farm operation, including property taxes. From there, the group toured buffers implemented on the farm and fields where cover crops are being used. You can read more about the visit in the Northfield News.
Chris Coleman is the current mayor of St. Paul, a position he has held since 2006.
Coleman visited the farm of Les Anderson in Welch on Monday. The group was finally able to kick off the visit with a combine ride for a firsthand corn harvest experience. After a tour of the Anderson farm operation, the group moved inside for a chat on healthcare costs, improvements to the Minnesota Buffer Law, and discussion around GMOs.
Matt Dean is the state representative for a district in the northern Twin Cities. Dean has held the position since 2005.
Dean made the drive to the Raymond farm of Noah Hultgren on Wednesday. Dean, who had made it his mission to visit all 87 counties in Minnesota as part of his campaign to be governor, spoke with the Hultgren family about their family farm operation and issues around both regulation and rising property taxes. From there, the group toured the Hultgren drying operation and shop, including a chat in the combine that was parked in the shop while the Hultgren’s wait for the snow to melt. You can read more about the visit in the West Central Tribune.