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An advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and polices of our members


“Somebody has to step forward, and Farm Bureau has always been on the forefront.”


– David Mathiowetz, Redwood County

MFBF will advocate the policies developed by our members. • Policy development • Policy implementation • Political action

2. Leadership MFBF will recognize, empower and engage our members. • Create a culture that provides opportunities for leadership development and growth • Identify and utilize member strengths • Reliable integrated membership database system

3. Image MFBF will enhance and strengthen its profile. • Strengthened Farm Bureau brand • Earn key influencer trust

4. Resources • Membership growth • Revenue growth • Fiscal responsibility

Cover photo of the Lanoue family by U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance


Tools and Resources at has a new look! ®

Check it out today for information on the organization, membership, programs, public policy, educational resources, news, events and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation.

Farm Bureau Membership What’s in it for you? w Food Safety Farm Bureau is committed to providing safe, affordable food for families. We work with farmers and government officials to ensure that food safety is a top priority.

w Protecting our Environment Farm families drink the water, breathe the air and live on the land. Minnesota’s farmers demonstrate a strong commitment to protecting and improving our environment by participating in voluntary conservation programs and adopting sustainable recommended managements practices for enhancing soil, air and water quality.

w Energy Farm Bureau supports a comprehensive energy approach to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and alleviating the economic hardship for all Americans caused by rising energy costs. This includes renewable energy sources such as ethanol, biodiesel, wind and biomass, nuclear and domestic fossil fuel production.

w Animal Care Ethical animal care is a top priority for Minnesota farmers. It’s the right thing to do, and it keeps our animals safe, healthy and disease-free. Farm Bureau believes that animal care decisions should continue to be made by farmers in consultation with their veterinarian.

w Strong Rural Communities Strong, thriving rural communities and a successful agriculture economy go hand in hand. Farm Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that rural Minnesota is able to prosper. Locally, Farm Bureau members are dedicated to local civic involvement and actively work to ensure that their rural communities have access to high quality education and health care, provide a business friendly climate and can compete in a global marketplace.


“It’s an opportunity for the grassroots families on their farms to become involved in an organization that represents them.” –Clarence Horsager, Wadena County

President’s Message Farm Bureau’s standing reputation as the largest and most influential grassroots farm organization in the world is based on the fact that, by working together, we produce results each and every year.

98 Years Strong Learn, Tell, Build

Kevin Paap


ver Farm Bureau’s 98 years, our Farm Bureau Beliefs and Values have provided our organization with a firm foundation to carry out our mission and strategic plan. Our Mission: an advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and policies of our members. The strategic plan provides direction. • Policy - Farm Bureau will advocate the policies determined by our members. • Image - Farm Bureau will enhance and strengthen its profile. • Leadership - Farm Bureau will recognize, empower and engage our members. • Resources – Farm Bureau will grow membership and revenue to be fiscally responsible. However, the effectiveness of our mission and strategic plan comes down to our members learning about agricultural issues, telling their personal stories and building relationships. Combined, these three components help Farm Bureau to effectively communicate and demonstrate who and what Farm Bureau is as an organization. Learn I encourage you to learn more about how we can be effective - what the issues are, and how St. Paul and Washington D.C. work. Learn from other Farm Bureau members in your county, state and nation about how the issues affect them and share how they affect you. This will

help you grow your understanding and gain different perspectives on the issues, which in turn strengthen Farm Bureau’s message as the Voice for Agriculture. Learning from different generations and different cultures is essential. It brings together varying perspectives to strengthen Farm Bureau’s voice while demonstrating continuous improvement. Through participation in our Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Leadership Contests members build their knowledge on the issues while learning how to communicate that knowledge effectively with others. Take time to learn consumer perspectives. This can be gained through Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) or safety camp presentations, or from sharing about your farm wherever there is an opportunity. Whether through conversations with friends and family, social media or presentations like Speak for Yourself, engage in the conversations, listen to what is really being asked in order to learn and grow from those opportunities and strengthen Farm Bureau’s voice. Tell Tell your story about how decisions effect your farm or ranch and your family. Share what you’re doing to be sustainable, to preserve your land and its resources for future generations. Share why the regulations, laws and discussions matter to you. Are you letting your passion for agriculture and your family shine through? When you share your passion you engage your audience in your personal story so that they know you and relate to you as a person. Tell your story to elected and appointed officials and their staff, to consumers and regulators. Share your story on social media through photos and videos, to

“Learning from different generations and different cultures is essential. It brings together varying perspectives to strengthen Farm Bureau’s voice while demonstrating continuous improvement.” —Kevin Paap, MFBF President 4

“Why become a member… Why not? It’s great to be a part of an organization with members who support key interests and issues.” —Carl and Janel Sackreiter, Winona County

your family at holiday meals and family functions and to your friends at sporting events, church and at the grocery store. Build Build relationships with your elected and appointed officials and their staff, regulators and consumers. Offer thoughts and examples to help them understand and to build trust. Invite your bankers, appointed and elected officials, media etc to ride with you in the tractor or the combine. These are opportunities many would not pass up and are moments that build trust. Implement Through learning, telling and building, you will strengthen our grassroots strategic plan. You will improve transparency and open doors of opportunities to grow our organization into the future. Think about the many opportunities for you to Learn – Tell – Build within Farm Bureau such as Day on the Hill, Council of County Presidents, Farmers to D.C., county resolutions, policy development, Leadership Conference, YF&R Leadership Development Contests, Promotion & Education AITC and safety programs, Food Awareness events, county and state fair and county activities etc. Choose at least one that interests you. Then, think of how to enhance the opportunities by following up with those you meet along the journey. Whatever you do, we ask and challenge you to start today to learn more about agriculture issues; tell your personal stories and build relationships. In Closing Membership matters, and your efforts helped Minnesota Farm Bureau grow for the sixth year in a row to 29,810 members. Thank you for your membership, your engagement and your desire to be part of the solution. We have another partner in this success that we cannot do without and that is Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS). There are two things we need to recognize. First, success of our affiliated insurance companies is a direct result of being able to utilize the name, membership and distribution infrastructure of the county and state Farm Bureau organizations. Second, we must also recognize that our county and state Farm Bureau Federations would be smaller and less effective organizations without the benefits received from our affiliated companies. Thank you FBFS for your partnership and desire to make a positive difference for farmers and ranchers, families, and rural communities in Minnesota. We appreciate your membership and dedication to strengthen the voice of Farm Bureau and agriculture. We hope that the results of our efforts, make a difference in the strength of our county Farm Bureaus. I encourage you to remain engaged and make a difference. Let’s be at the table so we are not on the menu. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to Farm Bureau! Sincerely,

Kevin Paap, President


What Do I Get for My Investment?


arm Bureau is an organization guided and directed by our nearly 30,000 member families – farmers and ranchers, teachers, community leaders, husbands, wives, parents and business owners. Each one is concerned about their children, families, communities and making Minnesota a great place to live and work. We exist to serve members because we share the values they hold dear – hard work, love of community, passion for the land and belief rooted in faith and family. Our services, programs and benefits are rooted in the causes, concerns and needs that are important to our members based on their beliefs and values.

Farm Bureau membership dues are invested in: w Policy Farm Bureau will advocate the policies developed by our members. w Image Farm Bureau will enhance and strengthen its profile. w Leadership Farm Bureau will recognize, empower and engage our members.

POLICY Solid, sound policy development, implementation and political action

“We, as members, set policies at the local levels.” Farm Bureau is constantly serving as a watch dog on the local, state and national level for our members. Farm Bureau is able to communicate with elected officials to explain the consequences of implementing proposed legislation or regulations. By allowing Farm Bureau to lay the foundation, our members are in a better position to share their stories of how proposed legislation or regulations effects their family and communities. Whether it is serving as a watchdog, taking our members’ voices to St. Paul or Washington D.C. or mobilizing our grassroots actions, Farm Bureau has a successful position in the political arena.

State Focus Areas

w Taxes w Transportation w Water w Education w Agricultural production practices w Energy

National Focus Areas

w Biotechnology w Clean Water Act w Endangered Species Act w Agricultural Labor Reform w Taxes w Energy w Farm Bill Implementation w Farm Economy w Trade

–Bruce Brenden, West Otter Tail County AFBF v. EPA Issue: In 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released personal information about thousands of livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers in 29 states in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from environmental organizations. The massive data release contained tens of thousands of lines in spreadsheets often including home phone numbers, home emails, employee contact information, home addresses and in some cases personal notes about the families. EPA has taken the position with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and others that is has no legal obligation under FOIA to keep most of the information private. Consequently, EPA intends to release additional personal information from farmers in Minnesota and five other states that were not included in the first round of information requests. Action: AFBF filed suit in federal district court in Minnesota to stop EPA from publicly disclosing personal information about livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers in response to FOIA requests. The lawsuit sought to enforce FOIA’s requirement that the government protect personal information - such as individual names, residential addresses, GPS coordinates, email addresses, and phone numbers that have nothing to do with the government transparency goals of the FOIA law. Result: In September 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously ruled that the EPA has violated the personal privacy of tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers. EPA now has to “recall” all of the personal information it unlawfully released, but

unfortunately that information has now been in the hands of the FOIA requestors for three years, and many feel the damage is done. AFBF will continue to address the larger concern over EPA’s collection and public distribution of data about farmers and ranchers. Until this complete court case is resolved, a temporary stay remains in place prohibiting EPA from releasing this information, at least temporarily, and protecting farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information. Trans-Pacific Partnership Issue: Selling more U.S. goods around the world boosts farm profitability and benefits rural communities. Farm Bureau continues to work towards Congressional approval of the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to increase U.S. farmers’ and ranchers’ access to foreign markets. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) estimates that annual net farm income will increase by $4.4 billion, driven by an increase of direct U.S. agricultural exports of $5.3 billion per year upon full implementation of the TPP agreement as compared to a scenario in which the U.S. fails to pass the agreement while the remaining member countries proceed quickly. Action: Farm Bureau has taken a lead on supporting approval of the TPP agreement in order to expand market opportunities for American farmers and ranchers.

“You develop a lasting relationship with members, and you just can’t replace that.” –Bob Fritz, Pipestone County


Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap an AFBF board member and AFBF Trade Advisory Committee chair, testified before a hearing of the United States House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee where he described a litany of trade barriers faced by farmers and ranchers. In addition, Farm Bureau members continue to discuss the need for international markets especially here in Minnesota. Sharing our story on the benefit of trade for a wide range of Minnesota agriculture has been and will continue to be, a top priority for MFBF. Result: Now that the trade deal is complete, all participating nations will need to pass implementing legislation in order to bring the agreement into force- including the United States. It is critical to remember that the TPP is a multi-lateral agreement intended to create high quality rules and market access across its 12 members. However, outside of TPP, other member countries would – and indeed are – already negotiating and implementing bilateral agreements without waiting for the United States to complete action. While legally TPP would only go into full effect if the U.S. ratifies the agreement, other countries will move forward with their trade capabilities regardless of whether or not the U.S. decides to ratify the agreement. U.S. failure to enact TPP will not see our trade situation stay the same, but will lead to declining net exports and market share in important markets. Farm Bureau will continue its work to increase market opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers. Buffers Issue: Present buffer legislation in Minnesota requires a minimum of 16.5 feet perennial vegetative strips next to public drainage ditches, and a 50 feet average buffer with a minimum 30 feet buffer, next to public waters. While this agreement is currently recognized as the approach to follow, provisions of the law passed during the 2015 special session could be interpreted as something else. Correcting the law to fit this approach is important in order to keep agencies from re-interpreting after the session is completed and also to protect landowners from lawsuits by those who believe more areas should be put into buffers. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) strongly supported legislation that provided clarification to the buffer law as well as overall general improvements and more local control in both determinations of public waters and implementation of buffers. Results: MFBF supported the passage of S.F. 2503 which amended the previous buffer law to provide clarification and modification to buffer requirements on public waters and drainage ditches. The

legislation that passed also modified the authority to issue administrative penalty orders. Changes made to the legislation ensures that revenue created by issuing penalties is retained by the county, watershed district, or Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) that issues it and that the costs associated with the enforcement are incurred by the enforcement party. The legislation also requires BWSR to adopt an administrative penalty order (APO) plan by July 1, 2017 so that it has procedures in place for issuing penalties and to provide consistency to county and watershed districts. Clarification to the term “public waters” used in the 2015 buffer law applies to waters that are on the public water inventory conducted in the 1980’s. By clarifying what waters are designated as public, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will not be able to add or reduce new waters to the protection map. The legislation also eliminates inconsistencies for buffer requirements for public ditches by stating that the buffer requirement under public drainage law is identical to this law. MFBF has produced and widely distributed an easy to understand brochure entitled “Understanding Minnesota’s New Buffer Requirement.” This tool also outlines options and opportunities for landowners to consider in making decisions about their property, impacted by the state’s buffer law. Agricultural Property Taxes Issue: Minnesota agricultural property owners are being significantly challenged by increasing property tax burdens, especially resulting from local school debt bonds, approved by voters for new or remodeled facilities. With agricultural property making up the bulk of most rural school districts, a disproportional burden of the tax falls on agricultural property taxpayers. The issue

is demonstrated by statistics where in roughly 20 percent of the state’s school districts, 75 percent or more of the tax base is agricultural property. In one third of the state’s school districts 50 percent or more of the tax base is agricultural property. In nearly all analysis of impacts, agricultural property taxpayers pay 10 times the amount of taxes paid by homeowners in town where school construction bonds are involved. Over the past 15 years, agricultural landowners have seen an 85.47% increase in property tax levies. Action: MFBF supported efforts to fix structural changes to balance the lack of inequality of the current property tax system. Farm Bureau members testified, wrote letters to the editor and called their members of Congress. MFBF strongly supported the passage of the Omnibus Tax Bill and worked throughout session to have provisions including a 40 percent tax credit on the portion of agricultural property tax going to school debt bonds. The tax credit would have provided $90.6 million in tax relief for the next biennium. Results: Although legislators showed strong bipartisan support of 89 percent in favor of property tax reform, the Omnibus Tax Bill was pocket vetoed by the Governor. Despite an overwhelming large request from both legislature and the general agricultural population, the Governor failed to call a special session to negotiate the unaddressed property tax issues. MFBF continues to work to explore options to make property taxes on agricultural land more sustainable and fair. By working with other groups and organizations, MFBF leads the charge in addressing agricultural property tax issues and working with lawmakers to find legislative solutions.

“It is imperative that we, as farmers, visit with our elected officials and be an active part of the process.” —Leah Johnson, Grant County


LEADERSHIP MFBF will... Recognize, empower and engage our members; Create a culture that provides opportunities for leadership development and growth; Identify and utilize member strengths; Reliable integrated membership database system

Leadership Conference Issue: Minnesota Farm Bureau members are constantly seeking opportunities to learn about trends in agriculture, gain tools to enhance leadership and professional development and network with other members. The Leadership Conference is designed to provide leadership training for all Farm Bureau members. Action: The 2016 Leadership Conference was held in Bloomington. Attendees participated in tours and breakout sessions focused on agriculture, leadership and engagement. Topics ranged from leadership, advocacy, policy and business, navigating the generation gap, preparing for farm injuries, sharing your farm story, classroom visits made easy, working with environmental issues, building policy relationships, leveraging cooperative power and developing business and marketing plans. Attendees received training on Minnesota agriculture The theme was “Apples, Apples, Apples” and the kits contained educational activities, the books “How to See the World and Make an Apple Pie” and “The Apple Riddle,” and information on the American Foundation for Agriculture resources and the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom. During the conference, attendees conducted a service project for Kids Against Hunger packing 10,800 meals for Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP) based in Bloomington. The Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Foundation sponsored this hunger service project with a donation of $2,500. Farm Bureau members also raised over $1,700 for a hunger relief project in the Twin Cities called Love One Another, which is a part of Minneapolis Recreation Development Inc., providing sandwiches, socks and basic necessities for those in need. Result: Nearly 250 members took part in the conference and were trained in consumer engagement, classroom presentations and policy issues. Through networking and training, stronger leadership skills were developed. Leadership development opportunities are available throughout the year for all Farm Bureau members. 8

“Farm Bureau has given us the platform to not only engage with, but also have a conversation with consumers, as well as educating youth on where their food comes from.” —Scott and Samantha Runge, Watonwan County

Youth and Collegiate Outreach Issue: As a general farm organization, Farm Bureau monitors all issues. Farm Bureau recognizes the opportunity to assist in developing stronger leaders and strengthen collaborative efforts. Action: To reach college aged students, the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee met with college student agriculture organizations on six different campuses throughout the state. To increase participation in the Collegiate Discussion Meet, regional contests were held on campuses prior to a final competition at the MFBF Annual Meeting. Minnesota Farm Bureau also participated in the annual Ag Awareness Day on the University of Minnesota - Minneapolis campus. Minnesota Farm Bureau hosts a yearly training with the state FFA officers; assists in training the state 4-H ambassadors and assists with leadership training for these youth leadership organizations throughout the year. In addition, all FFA Chapters in the state are members of Farm Bureau so that we can serve as a resource to these advisors and chapter leaders. Every FFA Advisor receives the Impact newsletter. Result: Minnesota Farm Bureau continues to strengthen its working relationship with these organizations and is viewed as a valuable partner in creating strong leaders. These energetic, future leaders are enlightening individuals, and they see the opportunities to be the next generation of agriculture.

“YF&R opportunities have contributed to my professional and personal development, and I would strongly encourage others to get involved. I appreciate the efforts of Farm Bureau to provide a voice for American agriculture.” —Mike Miron Washington-Ramsey County

Food Awareness Month Issue: Farmers are committed to providing safe and healthy food choices for all Americans. Farm Bureau members want to talk with consumers about the shared goal of nutritious and affordable meals for families, but do not always know where to begin the conversation. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau celebrated February as Food Awareness Month. Food Awareness Month brings awareness to all things food – from the farmers who grow and raise food, to food safety and availability. Food Awareness Month helps American consumers learn about the food they eat every day. Minnesota farmers and ranchers take pride in ensuring safe food choices for Minnesota families. To mark the occasion, county Farm Bureaus throughout the state hosted events to share how they grow food and worked with food shelves to increase awareness of local food and hunger. Result: County Farm Bureaus were provided with a handout full of consumer focused information answering tough questions and demonstrating how Minnesota Farmers CARE. Farm Bureau reached thousands of people through a variety of activities, including breakfasts, grocery store outreach, food drives, radio campaigns and Ronald McDonald House donations.

Leadership Development Contests Issue: As part of the Young Farmers & Ranchers program, Farm Bureau members have the opportunity to participate in three different leadership development contests. The Discussion Meet hones discussion skills, develops a better understanding of issues affecting agriculture and explores how groups can pool knowledge and reach a consensus and solve problems. The Excellence in Agriculture contest is designed as an opportunity for young farmers to earn recognition while actively contributing to agriculture and building their leadership skills through their involvement in Farm Bureau and their community. The Achievement Award contest is application based and looks at farm goals, successes, financial planning and leadership skills. A collegiate Discussion Meet and FFA Discussion Meet are also held each year. Action: The Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee actively recruits participants to each of the contests. AFBF holds webinars and trainings to better prepare these contestants. The preliminary rounds of the Discussion Meet are held at the MFBF Leadership Conference, and the finals for all contests are held at the MFBF Annual Meeting. Result: Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation was well represented at the state and national level in the Leadership Development Contests, especially in Excellence in Agriculture where Mike Miron of WashingtonRamsey County came home with the top prize. These young farmers shared their experiences at the MFBF Leadership Conference and continue to develop their leadership through engagement with their local and state Farm Bureaus.

“Any time we all get together it’s fun.” 9

–Kerri Mattson, Pope County

IMAGE MFBF will... Enhance and strengthen its profile; Strengthened Farm Bureau brand; Earn key influencer trust

Speak for Yourself Issue: Over half of all Minnesotans have never met a farmer. Consumers are extremely interested in their food and where it —Jared Luhman, Goodhue County comes from. Studies have also shown that people trust other individuals over a name or organization. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau worked with Eidson & Partners and partnered with Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Beef Council, CHS, Cargill, Conservis, AgStar Financial Services, United FCS, AgCountry, AgriBank, Riverview Dairy and CHS, scheduled 154 presentations and managed traditional and social media outreach on a public Farming Today Facebook page this past year. Result: In total, 63 farmer leaders are trained through Speak for Yourself. With the help of Eidson & Partners, these speakers have been able to address more than 450 community organizations, including local Rotary clubs, Lions clubs, doctors, church groups, agribusinesses and school boards, since 2014. Speakers also present to moms groups and high school classrooms. Audience evaluations have shown 82 percent of the audiences had a positive impression of agriculture after the presentation, and 41 percent said that their Minnesota State Fair opinion was changed favorably towards agriculture because of the farmer sharing their story. Issue: Consumers are more removed The Farming Today Facebook page has nearly 1,000 likes and a lifetime reach of over 150,000. from agriculture than ever before. People are asking questions about their food and want to feel connected Minnesota the Earth, Animals • to those that grow and raise it. Farmers CARE Environment • Food Commi ed Maintaining and regaining the trust of • Family initiative to Issue: Minnesota to Minnesota Agriculture connect and engage Farmers consumers as the number one farmers are while Respec ng consumers with resource on information is a priority. Committed to the farmers driven by local Earth Action: Minnesota Farmers CARE Agriculture while Farm Bureaus has been Respecting the was the theme of the Minnesota Earth, and County • Animals • Environment • Food • Family very successful. Farm Bureau building at the Projects include Farm Bureaus need Minnesota State Fair. Fairgoers had billboards; newspaper resources to share the opportunity to take a quiz about ads; placemats used at annual meetings and this message with consumers. Minnesota each of the areas of Minnesota Breakfasts on the Farms; movie theater and Farmers CARE, Animals • Environment • Farmers CARE, Animals Environment radio ads; pop up banners; back packs for Food • Family, is only as useful as the Food Family. Everyone who took the 4-H youth leadership; fair displays; county information we are able to share and quiz received a lunch bag or a hot 4-H herdsmanship displays; bookmarks; conversations we are able to have. pad with the Minnesota Farmers newspaper inserts; and brochures. This Action: County Farm Bureaus across the CARE logo and were encouraged to year’s projects had over 20 million people state implemented local projects in order to continue the conversation on the consumer impressions. be proactive with consumers not directly Minnesota Farmers CARE Facebook The Minnesota Farmers CARE – Food involved in agriculture. Whoever defines the page. piece was provided to counties and “issue” are the ones who have positive Result: Over 10,000 fairgoers visited distributed throughout the state. As an outcomes. our Minnesota State Fair building added feature, it was featured on the For Food Awareness Month in February, a with over 6,000 taking the quiz to Minnesota Farm Bureau website and linked Minnesota Farmers CARE – Food piece was receive a prize. Fairgoers were able to to further information about each of the provided to each county to have at events, have conversations with farmers and farmers, whether it be a video, blog or news featuring “Ask a Farmer,” where farmers Farm Bureau volunteers about their story. Having additional avenues for answered some of the most asked questions questions about farming, including information on the website and social media about food today. some of the hottest issues like maintains Farm Bureau’s credibility as a Result: The Minnesota Farmers CARE, genetic enhancement, water quality trusted source. Committed to Agriculture while Respecting and antibiotics.

“It’s good to know that I can actually have an impact on a national or global level by meeting with our nation’s leaders in D.C.”







Pope County Farm Bureau



Agriculture in the Classroom Issue: The average consumer is three – seven generations removed from the farm so it makes since when consumer research indicates that consumers want to hear from farmers and ranchers. Providing consumers an opportunity to learn first-hand how and why farmers do what they do is impactful. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau connected with teachers at the Education Minnesota Conference and worked with teachers to connect them with Minnesota farmers. Classroom visits were made in person or online. Farm Bureau members connected with consumers through outreach at farmers markets, I Met a Farmer Tours, county fairs and Breakfast on the Farm events.

Efforts to enhance the positive image of agriculture goes hand in hand with the mission of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation which is to provide opportunities for supporters of agriculture to invest in people and programs focused on supporting active farmers and agriculturalists, better connecting agriculture to consumers and serving rural communities. 11



– Abbey Weninger, Wright County

Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation


“Although I don’t come from a farming background, I am a Farm Bureau member so I can continue to be part of the voice of agriculture.”

Farmland Issue: Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. The Farmland film takes an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their 20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farm. Through this film from award-winning director, James Moll, viewers step inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers. Viewers learn about their high-risk/high reward jobs and passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve. This film was made with the generous support of the USFRA. Action: As an affiliate partner of the USFRA, Minnesota Farm Bureau has been a key part of promoting Farmland in Minnesota. County Farm Bureaus are able to use the film in their own communities. Community kit and school resources were mad available to any group that wished to show the film and have the conversation about farming. Result: In its third year, the Farmland film has strong momentum throughout Minnesota. The online streaming has been successful nationwide. Many county Farms Bureaus worked with local agriculture groups to show the film in their communities and start the conversation about farming. Through the educational site Discovering Farmland resources for schools continue to be successful in addition to the classroom curriculum. Farmland is a great opportunity to engage those that have been removed from the farm in a heartwarming story that everyone can relate to.


America’s Heartland and U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Issue: It is important for agriculture organizations to represent themselves in a unified voice. Organizations exist to share resources and information regarding spreading the positive word of agriculture. Action: The Minnesota Farm Bureau has invested money and time in organizations whose efforts aim to reach key influencers and enhance the positive image of agriculture. Two of these organizations are America’s Heartland, a television program on public television and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a nationwide organization aiming to answer questions about how farmers and ranchers raise our food and care for animals. Result: Working with these organizations allows Minnesota Farm Bureau to be at the table when key decisions are being made about agriculture in Minnesota and throughout the nation. Minnesota Farm Bureau is building positive relationships to build a unified force in agriculture and is gaining access to resources for members and leaders to use.

Result: Classroom visits were made during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and throughout the year in urban areas. In addition, a new partnership was formed with the American Farm Bureau Foundation’s First Peas to the Table Contest and the Miss America program specifically working with Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell. Resources and materials were distributed by the Minnesota Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture which were used by county leaders during classroom programs, farm tours, Farmers Markets, county fairs and Breakfasts on the Farms. Agriculture has a growing need for future employees. 60,000 agricultural related jobs go unfilled each year. Providing opportunities for consumers to better understand production agriculture will help shape the direction of agriculture in the future.

P.O. Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164 651-768-2100 info@ •

Minnesota Farm Bureau ®

“In rural America, there are certain ideals, morals and values—Farm Bureau holds true to those values.” –Kerri Mattson, Pope County

w America’s unparalleled progress is based on freedom and dignity of the individual, sustained by basic moral and religious concepts.

“Once a farmer, always a farmer.” –Doris Neske, Wright County

w Economic progress, cultural advancement, ethical and religious principles flourish best where people are free, responsible individuals. w Individual freedom and opportunity must not be sacrificed in a quest for guaranteed “security.” w We believe in government by legislative and constitutional law, impartially administered, without special privilege. w We believe in the representative form of government...a provided in our Constitution, in limitations on government power, in maintenance of equal opportunity in the right of each individual to freedom of worship and in freedom of speech, press and peaceful assembly.

w Individuals have a moral responsibility to help preserve freedom for future generations by participating in public affairs and by helping to elect candidates who share their fundamental beliefs and principles. w People have the right and the responsibility to speak for themselves individually or through organizations of their choice without coercion or government intervention.


w Property rights are among the human rights essential to the preservation of individual freedom. w We believe in the right of every person to choose an occupation; to be rewarded according to his/her contributions to society; to save, invest or spend; and to convey his/her property to heirs. Each person has the responsibility to meet financial obligations incurred. w We believe that legislation and regulations favorable to all sectors of agriculture should be aggressively developed in cooperation with allied groups possessing common goals. We support the right of private organizations to require membership as a prerequisite for member services. 12

2016 Federation Annual Review  
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