Tag: MN Legislature

Setting the stage for profitability

By Kirby Hettver, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

In a time of low commodity prices, the future can be difficult to envision as we focus on making the most of our crop today. At the same time, it is crucial we continue to put the pieces in place for future success in the areas we can control.

The investment you and your fellow farmers make in the Minnesota corn check-off is setting the stage for improved profitability.

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Taking the measure of political climate at Ag EXPO

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

For 20 years, Blois Olson has been an avid watcher and observer of politics, business and culture in the Twin Cities and the entire region. He got into writing about farm issues because of all the clicks.

That is, all the mouse clicks. He launched e-newsletters Business Take and Morning Take, which cover the latest in local business and politics, respectively, as web-based clearing houses of all the information that was pouring in from his carefully cultivated sources in every sector.

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MN Senator Tina Smith appointed to Senate Ag Committee

(Senator Tina Smith discusses conservation practices with Harold Wolle on his Madelia farm)

Shortly after officially taking her seat on the United States Senate, Tina Smith was appointed to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry earlier this week. The appointment means Senator Smith will play a key role in 2018 farm bill negotiations in addition to other legislation affecting the state’s 24,000-plus corn farmers.

Smith, who formerly was the lieutenant governor for Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton,

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MN ag leaders promote the importance of free trade

AgriGrowth held its annual meeting last week in the Twin Cities, bringing together representatives from agriculture and the food systems industry. With the renegotiation of NAFTA front-of-mind for many in the ag sector, the meeting kicked off with a panel session on trade and what is at stake for U.S. agriculture.

The panel featured Devry Boughner Vorwerk, vice president of global corporate affairs at Cargill, Jeff Nawn, global grain trade and biotech affairs lead for DuPont Pioneer,

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Gubernatorial candidates continue corn farm visits

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,

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2017 Minnesota Session

Resolutions season is upon us

County corn organization directors received their pre-resolutions packet this week in preparation for upcoming meetings that will set the legislative priorities of the state’s 24,000 corn farmers.

Directors received packets this week that included the 2017 Resolutions Book, information for counties to select their allotted delegates, and a form for counties to submit resolutions prior to the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Pre-Resolutions Session held Dec. 5 in Mankato.

Counties that would like to submit a resolution to MCGA that addresses a major issue affecting the state’s corn growers should do so by Nov.

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U.S. Grains Council: Pace of NAFTA talks not unusual, but worth monitoring

The fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico ended earlier this month with little progress made in efforts to revamp the free trade agreement. The stalled negotiations have been a source of worry for farmers, who are understandably concerned about tariffs in a non-NAFTA world.

Not so fast, however, according to Thomas Sleight, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council.

Sleight said four rounds of negotiations with little progress is actually fairly normal in renegotiating a trade deal of this size.

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Co-op health plan offered to farmers, informational sessions scheduled

During the 2017 legislative session, the Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton approved a law that enabled farmers to form health care cooperatives to provide another option for farmers to help address rising health insurance premiums. The rule paved the way for 40 Square Cooperative Solutions to begin offering self-funded health plans to Minnesota farmers.

Farmers who are considered an “employer” with at least one common law employee and work in production agriculture are eligible.

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A week of farm visits for gubernatorial candidates

The first week of corn farm visits by 2018 candidates for Minnesota governor is in the books, with four candidates making it out to family farms to discuss the importance of agriculture. Topics ranged from healthcare, to buffers, to the technology found in the combine. Each candidate walked away with a better understanding of modern farms and the issues that are important to the state’s 24,000 corn farmers.

Invitations to gubernatorial candidates were extended earlier this summer as part of the “MN Corn Grows MN” campaign,

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MN gubernatorial candidates visit local corn farms

Representative Erin Murphy with MCGA board member Les Anderson in the first of many visits by gubernatorial candidates

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) will be hosting 2018 gubernatorial candidates on family farms throughout Minnesota beginning Friday in an effort to build a greater understanding of modern farm practices and develop relationships with candidates from both political parties.

Through the one-on-one farm experience, growers hope to foster conversation about farmers’ commitment to conservation,

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