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VOICE ®

of Agriculture

VOLUME 35 • No. 7

NESOTA FAR

N M The MI Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Foundation announced the Paul Stark Memorial Scholarship fund during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting in Bloomington. The new scholarship was announced as part of the MFB Foundation’s auction. Stevens County Farm Bureau kicked off the fundraising by donating $4,500, and auctioning a bench which was donated by the family of Paul Stark to establish the fund. During the auction, an additional $10,000 was raised through the generosity of individuals and county Farm Bureaus. The first two $500 Paul Stark Memorial Scholarships will be awarded at the MFBF 2015 Annual Meeting. Deadline for applications is September 30 and are available at fbmn.org. Any person who is a Farm Bureau member or qualifies under their family’s membership is eligible to apply. The applicant must be enrolled in an accredited school going into their freshman or sophomore year of college or vocational technical institute.

U FOUNDA TI

FARM BUREAU MEMBERS representing every county and regional Farm Bureau met during the voting delegate session at the MFBF Annual Meeting. Pictured is Glen Groth, Winona County Farm Bureau voting delegate, speaking to a resolution during the session.

MFB Foundation Announces Paul Stark Memorial Scholarship REA BU

Minnesota Farm Bureau Outlines Priorities for 2015

JANUARY 2015

ON

D

uring a comprehensive discussion and debate on November 20, voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 96th Annual Meeting voted on and adopted policy positions for 2015. Based on those actions, the MFBF Board of Directors identified five major focus areas that will serve as the roadmap for public policy: taxes, transportation, water, education and agricultural practices. Taxes Earlier this year, MFBF’s Board of Directors launched a special task force to examine agricultural property taxes, seeking to not only better understand the concerns, but also to identify potential solutions. The voting delegates addressed several of the ideas surfaced by the property tax task force and a plan is being developed aimed at resolving challenges agricultural property tax payers are facing. Additional tax concerns involve estate taxes and the complications these cause in passing the farm to the next generation. Transportation MFBF will focus on a variety of transportation-related issues, including the infrastructure of rural roads and bridges. In addition, sufficient and timely rail service for moving agricultural commodities to market in an affordable

manner has plagued farmers and ranchers reliant on rail transportation for most of 2014. Due to competition for an adequate place in an overburdened freight load, oil shipments seemingly dominate the available rail service capacity. Voting delegates approved policy in support of moving forward with the permitting required to use pipelines for transporting oil. Delegates adopted policy in opposition to the high-speed, passenger-only Zip Rail proposal to connect an undetermined location in the Rochester area with an undetermined location in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Beyond the impact on the landscape which would divide property along the route, the incredible costs associated with a single-purpose rail and undetailed costs-benefit evaluation make this transportation project unjustifiable. Water Various government agencies with authority over water quality and water quantity are in the process of adjusting and expanding their controlling regulations, impacting farmers and ranchers. The massive water diversion and water retention management plans taking shape in Fargo, North Dakota and the Red River Valley region are oriented to impact farmers and their property.

PRIORITIES TO 3A }

Farm Bureau Voting Delegates Elect Glessing Vice President

County voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 96th Annual Meeting elected Dan Glessing to a two-year term as Vice-President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. The election was held November 21 during the delegate session in Bloomington. Glessing and his wife, Seena, served for three years on the MFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee with Dan serving as chair in 2008-2009. The Glessings also served on the said MFBF Vice President Dan American Farm Bureau Federation Glessing. “One of Farm Bureau’s YF&R Committee for a two-year greatest strengths is our grassroots term. Dan farms in partnership with structure and policy development DAN GLESSING his father. They have dairy cattle process which is well respected and grow alfalfa, corn and soybeans. amongst our elected and appointed Dan and Seena have three sons and officials. We will continue to one daughter. strengthen our relationships with our officials so they “I am honored to have been elected vice president,” come to us when they have a question about agriculture.

Our Young Farmers & Ranchers and Promotion & Education programs will continue to evolve and be at the forefront of issues in order to continue to be the voice for agriculture.” Re-elected to a three-year term was Mike Gunderson from Bejou in Mahnomen County representing District VII. Elected to serve a three-year term were Nathan Collins from Murdock in Swift County representing District IV and Carolyn Olson from Cottonwood in Lyon County representing District III. Elected to the board of directors serving one-year terms were Promotion & Education Committee chair TaLana Mathiowetz from Morgan in Redwood County and Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee chair Kristy Miron of Hugo in Washington-Ramsey County.

One of Farm Bureau’s greatest strengths is our grassroots structure and policy development process which is well respected amongst our elected and appointed officials.

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE PAGE 9A

FARMLAND SHOW AVAILABLE PAGE 11A

BENEFITS

PAGE 8B

MFBF ANNUAL REVIEW

SECTION B

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

HELEN KELLER

January 2015 Voice of Agriculture  
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