VOICE of Agriculture
VOLUME 34 • No. 1
Farm Bureau is committed to building leaders at all levels. It is critical that we continue to be at the table to serve as the voice for farmers, ranchers and rural Minnesota.
—MFBF President Kevin Paap
Farm Bureau Determines Focus Areas for 2014
FARM BUREAU MEMBERS representing every county and regional Farm Bureau met during the Voting Delegate Session at the MFBF Annual Meeting. Pictured is Greg Booth, Cass County Farm Bureau voting delegate, speaking to an issues during the session.
During a comprehensive discussion and debate on November 22, voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 95th Annual Meeting voted on and adopted policy positions for 2014. Based upon those actions, the MFBF Board of Directors provided focus for the organization and its members on public policy, positive image and leadership. “Farm Bureau’s policy development process began early in the year and resulted in a very productive Minnesota Farm Bureau voting delegate session,” said MFBF President Kevin Paap. “Farm Bureau delegates, who are farmers and ranchers from throughout Minnesota, established our public policy positions on the issues facing agriculture.” “Our delegates and board of directors identified key issue areas for 2014 that our organization will focus on during the upcoming
legislative sessions. These areas include taxes, water, environment, food, animal care, transportation and education,” said Paap. “Farm Bureau members will continue to turn up the heat at the national level on passing a five-year farm bill by the end of the year, seeking final passage of the Water Resources Development Act and continuing to put pressure on addressing agricultural labor reform as part of immigration discussions,” said Paap. “Farm Bureau is committed to building leaders at all levels. We will continue to increase the understanding of today’s farm and ranch practices by sharing our commitment and our common values with influencers, consumers, elected officials and regulators,” said Paap. “It is critical that we continue to be at the table to serve as the voice for farmers, ranchers and rural Minnesota.”
Minnesota Farm Bureau Members Raise Funds for South Dakota Rancher Relief Farm Bureau members, county Farm Bureaus in Minnesota and the Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Foundation came together during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation auction to raise over $22,000 for the South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares fund. The auction was part of the MFBF Annual Meeting held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, November 21-23. Farm Bureau is encouraging individuals and county Farm Bureaus to continue to give to support their fellow farmers and ranchers in western South Dakota. In addition, all proceeds from the auction were donated to assist ranch families impacted by the early October blizzard. “This is what farmers and ranchers do. We help our neighbors in need,” said MFB President Kevin Paap. “This is about providing basic life necessities such as food on the table and paying their utility bill. We encourage individuals,
AUCTION ASSISTANTS displayed the items donated by counties and volunteers at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Auction on November 22. Thank you to all who donated and purchased items, as well as to Stevens County Farm Bureau for serving as the announcers, ringmen and clerks. Pictured in back are Dylan Antoff, Brooke Wente, MarJenna McWilliam and Katie Winslow. In front are Zoey and Makenna Schentzel and Stuart Schumacher and in the wagon, Warren Tauzell. organizations and businesses to consider donating to South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares.”
ALL PROCEEDS FROM the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Auction were donated to the South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares fund, assisting ranch families impacted by the early October blizzard, Atlas. Over $22,000 was donated to the fund due to the generous giving by Farm Bureau members, county Farm Bureaus in Minnesota and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation.
The South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares fund is helping ranchers impacted by the
blizzard, Atlas, which devastated many families and their ranches in Western South
Dakota at the beginning of October. Tens of thousands of head of livestock were lost in the storm. The ranch families are facing a very difficult economic hardship as they decide how to regain footing and rebuild. South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares is designed to help ranch families impacted by the blizzard with immediate financial needs: cash for groceries, utility bills or whatever they feel would be helpful to their family and household. 100 percent of the donation will go directly to ranch families impacted by the blizzard. Donations are taxdeductible. Checks should be made payable to: Farmers & Merchants Bank/S.D. Farm Bureau Cares and sent to South Dakota Farm Bureau, PO Box 1426, Huron, SD 57350.
Farmland Documentary Announced Oscar® and two-time Emmy® winning filmmaker James Moll is proud to announce his newest featurelength documentary about the next generation of American farmers and ranchers. Farmland profiles farmers and ranchers in their twenties, most of whom have assumed the generational responsibility of running the family business. Made possible with generous support from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA®), the film gives
Farmers to Washington D.C. Registration
us an up close and personal look at some of the young farmers and ranchers who grow and raise the food we consume daily. Ryan Veldhuizen of Edgerton, Minnesota, is one of the six featured farmers in the documentary. For more information about the film, visit farmlandfilm.com, like on Facebook and tweet at @FarmlandFilm.
Annual Review President’s Message
or later, “ Sooner those who win are those who think they can.
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Local Involvement – National Impact MFBF BOARD OF DIRECTORS Officers President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kevin Paap Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Duane Alberts Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Radatz Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Johnson Board Members District I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Larry Larson District II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Roelofs District III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Van Loh District IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Stark District V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fran Miron District VI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Gilbertson, Sr. District VII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Gunderson State Promotion & Education Committee Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nada Carter State Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kelly Schmidt MFBF STATE STAFF Administrative Chris Radatz, Executive Director . . . 651-768-2104 Kim Oakes, Executive Secretary. . . . 651-768-2111 Foundation Ruth Meirick, Director . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2115 Public Relations Kristin (Campbell) Harner, Director . 651-768-2118 Pam Dahlman, Support Staff . . . . . . 651-768-2117 Organization Development Katie Brenny, Southeast Region . . 507-923-1779 James Dodds, North Region . . . . 218-556-4667 DelRay Johnson, West Central Region . . . . . . . . . . 218-639-2092 Riley Maanum, Northwest Region 320-260-6417 Amanda Revier, Southwest Region. . . . . . . . . . . . 320-894-2600 Dennis Sabel, East Central . . . . . . 612-756-1230 Yvonne Simon, South Central. . . . 507-995-1652 Judy Pilcher, Support Staff . . . . . . 651-768-2114 Finance Dave Johnson, Director of Operations. . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2101 Lori Wiegand, Bookkeeper . . . . . . . 651-768-2102 Public Policy Doug Busselman, Director . . . . . . . 651-768-2109 Amber Hanson, Associate Director . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2103 Susan Duncomb, Support Staff . . . . 651-768-2151
KEVIN PAAP • MFBF PRESIDENT
As I write this month’s column from Washington, D.C., I can’t help to think about all the things happening or sometimes not happening, in our nation’s Capital. Remember, Honor, Teach As members of the Sons & Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, we have become involved with the - Wreaths Across America organization. Their mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. Remember our fallen heroes who gave up their tomorrows with family and loves ones, so that we can enjoy our todays. Honor those who serve, the men and women of the armed forces who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. Teach our children about the freedoms we enjoy each day, and the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms. Learn more about how to donate or volunteer at wreathsacrossamerica.org. AFBF Board Meeting Our Mission Statement: AFBF is the unified national voice of agriculture, working through our grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities. Your board of directors continually works to achieve positive outcomes on our mission and our organizational priorities. Our Guiding Principles: American agricultural producers are competitive, innovative and financially successful. Rural communities are economically strong and culturally vibrant. Consumers have positive opinions about America’s farmers and ranchers and the food, fuel and fiber they produce. Agriculturalists serve as skilled leaders engaged in Farm Bureau and in their communities. Our Priorities: Passage of the Water Resources Development Act and reform of the harbor maintenance trust fund and the inland waterways trust fund. Passage of a new farm bill that meets core principles important to farmers.
“The Voice of Agriculture” is mailed periodical postage paid at St. Paul, MN and additional entry offices. “The Voice of Agriculture” is distributed to nearly 30,000 Farm Bureau member families and others across the state of Minnesota. Editor: Kristin (Campbell) Harner Assistant Editor: Pam Dahlman Design and Layout: Madsen Ink Editorial and circulation offices: The Voice of Agriculture P.O. Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164-0370 Phone: 651-768-2118 Fax: 651-768-2159 E-mail: email@example.com www.fbmn.org For display advertising and classified advertising information, call 800-798-2691. Or write to: The Voice of Agriculture 406 Stevens Street Iowa Falls, IA 50126 Postmaster send change of addresses to: The Voice of Agriculture Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164-0370 Voice of Agriculture® is a registered service mark owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Resolutions Committee Farm Bureau’s grassroots efforts are evident at our American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Resolutions Committee process. Our five subcommittees consist of the state presidents of our 50 states and Puerto Rico. Farm Bureau is a diverse organization representing all agricultural commodities and geographically regions. During this resolutions process, the East and the West, and the North and the South come together to discuss the 410 submitted resolutions from our 2,284 local Farm Bureaus concerning issues affecting their farmers. The end result of our policy discussions at the AFBF Resolutions Committee will be a comprehensive set of policy recommendations, which have worked their way up from the grassroots and through the state Farm Bureaus, to be considered by 358 voting delegates who meet in San Antonio in January. Sometimes the search for solutions on these critical issues aren’t easily agreed upon or achieved, but as an organization we address those together and work for what is best for agriculture as a whole. By working together we can accomplish more than we could ever hope to as individuals. Farm Bureau will continue to be at the table every day of every week. Our process allows us to be at the table representing the beliefs of our members that live with the consequences and results of the legislation and regulations that are passed in the halls of Congress.
Farmers Have a Full Plate in 2014
The Ag Agenda BOB STALLMAN • AFBF PRESIDENT
The Voice of Agriculture® (ISSN: 1529-1669) Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation 2014© Published January, March, May, July, September, November by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, 3080 Eagandale Place, PO Box 64370, St. Paul, MN 55164.
Defend the standards and incentives necessary to further develop the U.S. renewable fuels industry. Work to secure passage of legislation that addresses both long- and shortterm agricultural labor needs. Oppose Environmental Protection Agency efforts to expand the scope of navigable waters subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act; oppose expansion of federal Clean Water Act permit requirements for poultry and livestock farmers; protect farmers’ tax interests in debates on fiscal policy and tax reform; and protect farmers’ interests in development of Food and Drug Administration food safety regulations.
The old expression “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” is fitting as we ring in the new year. As we begin 2014, farmers are facing down many of the same legislative issues we were a year ago: farm bill, immigration, waterways infrastructure, taxes and the list goes on. But, while on the surface it looks like not a heck of a lot was accomplished in the past year, in spite of what was a contentious political year, solid progress was made on several of Farm Bureau’s priority issues. Moving the Needle As the popular Christmas/New Year song goes: “What have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun,” I can’t help but look back at 2013 and think that Farm Bureau definitely moved the needle on our key issues. A farm bill will likely be completed early in the new year, the Senate and House passed a waterways bill and the labor issue progressed further than it has in its history. I daresay that the issues on our agenda moved as far, or farther, than those of any other policy advocacy organization. Further, Farm Bureau had a huge judicial win with the Lois Alt case. We joined Mrs. Alt in standing up to the Environmental Protection Agency when it threatened her with enormous fines for ordinary storm water runoff. Unfortunately, agriculture is increasingly going to have to use the judicial branch to stop agencies like EPA from overreaching and trying to make political hay by targeting farmers. And rest assured that Farm Bureau will keep working to protect farmers and ranchers on these important issues. On the Horizon Looking ahead, farmers and ranchers will have a full plate in 2014. In addition to completing the farm bill and implementing a new five-year law, passing waterways and
port infrastructure legislation out of Congress and continuing our work on ag labor, a lot more work remains on other important issues. Tax reform and the federal budget will take center stage as we continue pushing for rational budget reforms and prioritized spending cuts to put America’s fiscal policy back on track. Instead of continually plunging off of one budget cliff and shooting down the rapids to the next, we must look for fair and balanced solutions. In doing so, we need to make real progress on individual and business tax reforms that affect farmers’ and ranchers’ profitability. This, too, will help bolster economic recovery. Farmers and ranchers will continue to battle perennial regulatory creep in 2014, particularly as it relates to waters of the U.S. Current proposed regulations that we know are under review completely ignore repeated U.S. Supreme Court decisions that uphold congressional intent and deny EPA the right to create law on a regulatory whim. If these regulations are adopted and enforced, farmers and ranchers can expect that nearly everything they do pertaining to water on their farms and ranches will be regulated by EPA. On a separate note, another year has passed and we are still awaiting Food and Drug Administration clarity on how various proposed food safety rules will affect farmers. With the complexity inherent in each of these rules, Farm Bureau is joining the call with other farm groups and state regulatory officials urging FDA to provide an adequate period of time to thoroughly review all of the “final” proposals together in order to avoid unnecessary, and potentially unfair, regulatory requirements that do little to improve food safety. So, while we have a lot on the horizon this coming year, Farm Bureau stands ready to take these challenges and opportunities head on. It’s time to clean our plate.
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2013 Management Report to the Voting Delegates
MFBF annual meeting
t is my pleasure and honor to be with you today and present the management report to the 95th Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting Voting Delegate Session. First, I want to recognize and acknowledge the efforts, dedication, hard work, passion for Farm Bureau and all of Minnesota agriculture of the MFBF staff: Kim Oakes, executive secretary, 27 years; Dave Johnson, director of operations, 1 year; Lori Wiegand, bookkeeper, 9 years; James Dodds, area program director north region, 12 years; DelRay Johnson, area program director west central region, 22 years; Riley Maanum, area program director northwest region, 1 year; Ruth Meirick, area program director southeast region, 16 years; Amanda Revier, area program director southwest region, 7 years; Dennis Sabel, area program director east central region, 28 years; Yvonne Simon, area program director south central region, 1 year; Judy Pilcher, organizational team support staff, 16 years; Doug Busselman, public policy director, 35 years, returning December 1; Amber Hanson, public policy associate director, 2 years; Susan Duncomb, public policy support staff, 3 years; Kristin Harner, public relations director, 12 years; Katie Brenny, associate director leadership development /consumer outreach, 1 years; Pam Dahlman, public relations support staff, 3 years. I am proud to be able to work with your great staff! 95 Years Ninety-five years. Think about the milestone we have reached today. This is a tremendous accomplishment for an organization to be around that long. More importantly, we are a relevant and growing organization providing programming, activities and support for county and regional Farm Bureaus and the individual members that we all represent. Membership Growth We had many successes in 2013. First and foremost we achieved a statewide membership growth. Our total membership stands at 27,609, a gain of 72 members. 26 county/regional Farm Bureaus achieved voting and total
Chris Radatz Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Executive Director November 22, 2013 membership growth, six more attained a growth in voting members and 13 more attained a growth in total membership. 20 county/regional Farm Bureaus reached continuous membership growth in two or more years. This accomplishment was a result of a lot of hard work by all members of the Farm Bureau team in Minnesota: our farmer leaders, the Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) force and our staff. Thirty seven farmer leaders are members of the Producers Club, signing five or more new members. Seven FBFS agents are members of the Builders Club, collectively signing over 500 new members. At the end of 2012 there was a statewide increase of 324 FBFS property casualty accounts. In partnership with FBFS, we are moving in the right direction. I encourage you and your county board to sit down with FBFS staff and discuss the current situation and what you and your members can do to assist FBFS in growing their business in your area. We need to do more. We need to grow our state organization by more than the current level of growth we have achieved. We need to grow membership in our county and regional organizations. How many in this room have signed a Farm Bureau member in the last year? I challenge all of us to be a member of the Producers Club in 2014. Think about this – there are approximately 100 people in this room today – times five equals 500 additional Farm Bureau members. We have several incentives in place for the 2014 membership year. • Producers Club - A special event will be held at the 2014 MFBF Annual Meeting for
Member Benefits As we encourage others to join Farm Bureau please don’t forget to mention our member benefits. We have reports from our staff who have used our hotel discount saving from $15 to $50 on just one night’s stay. Members have saved hundreds of dollars with the Grainger discount that includes free shipping. Many of you have used or know someone who has used the GM discount. Members save money using our member benefits, and Farm Bureau earns money as well.
Recognition is based on the merits of programs and activities conducted by our respective organizations. Fourteen county and regional Farm Bureaus will be recognized for outstanding programming and activities in the following areas: policy, leadership and positive image. MFBF will be recognized at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting for outstanding programs and activities in all category areas: • Education and Outreach • Leadership Development • Member Services • Membership Incentives • Policy Development and Implementation • Public Relations and Communication Please review Minnesota Farm Bureau Annual Review to learn more of the details of our programming and activities during the past year. This is also an excellent tool in signing new members.
Effectiveness Probably one of the most difficult things to measure is the effectiveness of your state organization and your local county/regional organizations. We do not have yield monitors on our Farm Bureau combines. We cannot count the number of chopper boxes or trucks that were filled from our Farm Bureau fields. One measurement tool we do have is the Awards of Excellence program at both the state and national Farm Bureau levels. The Awards of Excellence programs take a comprehensive look at the programming and activities of county/regional and state Farm Bureaus. These programs are peer-reviewed by Farm Bureau and agriculture professionals.
MFB Foundation The Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation is in a healthy position with $600,000 in reserves. During the 2013 fiscal year the foundation invested over $400,000 in various programs and activities. Over $400,000 was raised for the Foundation during that same period. The Foundation will be funding the agriculture promotion grant program and not relying on outside funding for that program. We are exploring several options for staffing the Foundation, and we will keep you updated as we move forward. Staffing I would like to give you an update on staffing changes at Minnesota Farm Bureau. As I
volunteers signing five or more new members during the year. • First in the Field - A special incentive will be awarded to volunteers signing five new members by May 5. • Membership Achievement Award - $500 will be awarded to each county/regional Farm Bureau with a yearend growth of five or more voting members.
mentioned earlier, Doug Busselman will be rejoining our team on December 1 as the public policy director. He will be directing the activities of the Public Policy Team and focusing on state issues. Doug has worked for various Farm Bureaus, including MFBF for the past 35 years. Most recently he has served as executive vice president of the Nevada Farm Bureau and has been their main lobbyist for the past 25 years. Doug understands Farm Bureau, working with regulatory and elected officials and the importance of member involvement in our policy development and policy implementation activities. Strategic Plan Policy, leadership, and positive image – these are the cornerstones of our strategic plan. These are the principles that guide our day-to-day activities and our long-range planning. We plan to bring together our Strategic Planning Committee, MFBF Board and MFBF Staff to further refine and develop implementation action items focused on our cornerstone principles. Thank You In closing, I want to thank you for the hard work and dedication you continue to devote to Farm Bureau. We are only as strong at the state and national level as we are at the local county and regional level. We look forward to working with all of you to make 2014 an even bigger success than 2013.
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FARM BUREAU NEWS NOTES l Take a Bus to the Leadership committees in action and l Farmers to Conference Washington, D.C. possibly view a House or Join us on the bus to the 2014 Leadership Travel with the Senate floor session. Conference. Riding the Farm Bureau bus is a Minnesota Farm Bureau Tuesday, March 18 – great way to meet other Farm Bureau to Washington, D.C. for Southwest, South Central members and enjoy a comfortable ride the 2014 Farmers to and Southeast Areas without worrying about the roads or gas. Washington, D.C. trip. Tuesday, April 1 – Cost will be between $40-$50 per person, From March 24-28, 2014 Northwest, North, West depending on the number of people riding. Minnesota Farm Bureau Central and East Central The bus is open to all members and nonmembers will be meeting Areas members attending the 2014 Leadership with federal decision Conference. The bus is handicap accessible. makers to tell them our Food Awareness Month The bus will pick up at the following story. February is Food locations on January 24: Highlights of this year’s Awareness Month. 5:15 a.m. - Chatfield, Bernard’s Bus Service Counties are encouraged to trip include an American 6:15 a.m. - Rochester, Walmart North Farm Bureau Federation center their events around 7:30 a.m. - Inver Grove Heights, Truck Stop the topic of food – (AFBF) key legislative 9:30 a.m. - St. Cloud, Walmart issues briefing; meetings availability, how food is 12:30 p.m. - Arrive at Leadership with the Minnesota grown, giving to the food Conference in Fargo congressional delegation, shelf, etc. Events can be The bus will return home on Sunday, government officials and held throughout the entire leaving Fargo at 8:30 a.m., stopping in St. agency workers; foreign month, but counties should Cloud at 11:30 a.m., Inver Grove Heights at embassy visit; and taking contact their local food 1:30 p.m., Rochester at 2:45 p.m. and in the sights and historic shelves to see when the Chatfield at 3:45 p.m. landmarks of our nation’s best time to give would be To reserve your space on the bus, contact capital. for them. Ruth Meirick, southeast area program director Registration is due Promotional pieces will at 507-383-1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. January 10. Costs: double be available for counties at occupancy - $1,490 and the Leadership Conference single occupancy at the end of January and $2,010. For more information, contact Amber will be inserted in the March issue of The Voice of Hanson at email@example.com or 651-768Agriculture. To order additional copies, contact 2103. Pam Dahlman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Given the nature of meetings conducted, the 651-768-2117. Farmers to Washington trip is limited to Farm Bureau members who are 13 years and older. Keep the Light on Membership For 2014, we are keeping the light on Farm Bureau U membership with revamped membership Farm Bureau U is focused to provide county incentives. Returning is the first in the field board members, county leaders and county volunteers who sign new members into their assistants with the opportunity to increase their county Farm Bureau by these dates will receive a knowledge on the workings of a county Farm special gift: Bureau. No matter how long you have been • Sign 1 new member by January 1 involved with Farm Bureau, this event is for you. • Sign 2 new members by February 2 For more information contact Judy Pilcher at 651• Sign 3 new members by March 3 768-2114 or email@example.com. Registration is • Sign 4 new members by April 4 due February 3 and can be found at fbmn.org. • Sign 5 new members by May 5 To qualify for Producers Club, sign five or more 2013 Day on the Hill new members. The Presidents Club has been Farm Bureau members are encouraged to merged with the membership achievement award. participate in the 2014 Farm Bureau Day on the Each county Farm Bureau that grows by five or Hill activities. Day on the Hill is an excellent more voting members will earn $500. opportunity for county Farm Bureau members to be briefed on current issues being considered at the Capitol, to lobby legislators, witness legislative
n Blizzard Snowmobile Ice Kahana January 11-12 Fairmont myblizzardclub.com Bring the families and friends to Fairmont for a weekend of outdoor fun. Watch snowmobile and four wheeler races take on the frozen Fairmont lakes. n Stillwater Ice Cream Social January 18 Stillwater discoverstillwater.com Come celebrate winter and eat free ice cream! Bonfire and skating rink. Bring your skates! The Washington County Historical Society hosts this old-fashioned ice cream social in downtown Stillwater’s Lowell Park on the St Croix riverfront. Free ice cream and hot coffee is available to all. Chili available. n Logging Days February 1 Bemidji bvskiarea.com Old time logging demonstrations and events. Live music, sleigh rides, lumberjack camp meal and more. n Whalan Candlelight Ski February 1 Lanesboro candlelightski.org Ski by candlelight during the 20th annual Whalan Candlelight Ski, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Village of Whalan. For the 20th consecutive year, the beautiful Root River Trail will be lined with candles with bonfires at each end of the ski trek. Soup supper and refreshments will be available at the Whalan Village Hall. n Cabin Fever Days February 21-22 Hoyt Lakes ironrange.org A celebration of winter sports with snowmobile racing (4-14 year olds), boot hockey or broom ball, vintage snowmobile show, crafts, food, drinks, awards dinner and the Minnesota Iron Rangers hockey game. For more information on these and other events, log onto exploreminnesota.com. Submit your community event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 651-768-2159.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS n January 8 MFBF Leadership Conference Registration Due
n January 24-25, MFBF Leadership Conference Fargo, ND
n January 10 Farmers to Washington, D.C. Registration Due
n February 3 Farm Bureau U Final Registration Due
n January 11-15 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting San Antonio, TX
n February 7-11 AFBF YF&R Conference Virginia Beach, VA
n January 16 YF&R Discussion Meet Registration Due n January 23 MFBF Board Meeting
n February 20 MFBF Resolutions Committee Meeting n February 21-22 Farm Bureau U
n March 4 Council of County Presidents n March 18 Day on the Hill Southwest, South Central and Southeast Areas n March 20-21 MFBF Board Meeting n March 24-28 Farmers to Washington, D.C. n April 1 Day on the Hill Northwest, North, West Central and East Central Areas
Farm Bureau flag photo Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) was the newest partner for the Prairie Grains Conference, December 11-12 in Grand Forks. Participating in the trade show were Riley Maanum-Northwest Area Program Director, Warren Formo-Minnesota Agriculture Water Resource Center, MFBF President Kevin Paap, Mike GundersonMFBF District VII Director, Doug Busselman-Director of Public Policy, Duane Finkenbinder-West Polk County Farm Bureau Board Member and Paul Dragseth-West Polk County Farm Bureau President.
Events Vacation guide
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Elected and Appointed Officials Address Farm Bureau Members
MFBF PRESIDENT KEVIN PAAP
Fitzsimmons, Tim Faust, Farm Bureau Jerry Hertaus, Kelby members from Woodard; and Minnesota Minnesota had the Department of Agriculture honor of hearing from Commissioner Dave distinguished guests Frederickson. Also at the Minnesota attending were staff Farm Bureau members from the offices Federation (MFBF) of U.S. Senator Klobuchar Annual Meeting and U.S. Representatives November 21-23. Paulsen, Bachman, “We were very Peterson and Nolan. pleased to have a number of elected and Saturday, November 23 appointed officials Saturday noon, Governor join us at Minnesota Dayton highlighted the Farm Bureau’s 95th importance of agriculture in Annual Meeting,” said MFBF President MEMBERS OF THE Plainview-Elgin-Millville FFA Chapter discussed agricultural issues Minnesota when he addressed Farm Bureau with Congressman Rick Nolan during the social hour with elected officials on Kevin Paap. “The members. He stressed the November 22. Pictured, left to right, are PJ Aarsvold, Nick Aarsvold, Congressman officials discussed importance of a positive issues important to Nolan, McKayla Wingert and Macey Betcher. working relationship with farmers and ranchers Farm Bureau members to and shared their ensure Minnesota agriviews on the 2014 Senator provided Farm Bureau Meeting with Farm Bureau culture remains strong in the Congressional and Minnesota members with an update on the members at the Friday future. legislative sessions. farm bill and Water Resources reception were Members of Representative Jeanne Poppe Development Act (WRDA) Congress Erik Paulsen and and Senator Gary Dahms also Friday, November 22 progress. She recognized that Rick Nolan; state Senators Eric addressed Farm Bureau Senator Amy Klobuchar Pratt, Bill Weber, Gary Dahms, farmers always get their work members during the 2014 addressed Farm Bureau members done, and Congress should do David Osmek; state Legislative Forecast general at the evening banquet. The Representatives David the same. session.
Farm Bureau Voting Delegates Re-Elect Paap President County voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 95th Annual Meeting re-elected Kevin Paap to his fifth twoyear term as President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. He has served as president of the organization since November of 2005. The election was held November 22 during the delegate session in Bloomington. Kevin and Julie Paap own and operate a fourth-generation family farm in Blue Earth County. “I am humbled and honored to continue to do something that I truly love to do and am passionate about doing,” said Paap. “While agriculture faces many challenges, with every challenge there are opportunities. Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation will continue to be at the table in the public policy arena, build agriculture’s positive image and develop leaders at all levels.” Re-elected to a three-year term to the board was Fran Miron of Hugo in Washington-
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MFBF Annual Meeting FOUNDATION AWARDS
Ag Communicator of the Year Lori Ehde, Rock County
Extension Educator of the Year Mike Liepold, Le Sueur County
FFA Advisor of the Year Paul Aarsvold, Wabasha County
Post Secondary Educator of the Year Pete Neigebauer, Nicollet County THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Foundation recognized and awarded outstanding agricultural professionals during the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting. Awarded Ag Communicator of the Year was Lori Ehde – Rock County, Extension Educator of the Year was Mike Liepold – Le Sueur County, FFA Advisor of the Year was Paul Aarsvold – Wabasha County and Post-Secondary Educator of the Year was Pete Neigebauer – Nicollet County.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO AGRICULTURE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO Agriculture awards are selected for their distinguished service to the organization, community and agriculture. The recipient this year was Nancy Petschl who retired this past year as Minnesota Farm Bureau Treasurer after 36 years of service to the organization.
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SLN INC Bosch
Ramsey County representing District V. Elected to a three-year term to the board was Bob Roelofs of Garden City in Blue Earth County representing District II. Kelly Schmidt of New Ulm in Brown County will serve a oneyear term on the board of directors as the Young Farmers and Ranchers committee chair. Nada Carter of Starbuck in Pope County will serve a one-year term as the Promotion and Education committee chair.
NADA CARTER, P&E CHAIR
KELLY SCHMIDT, YF&R CHAIR
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AL CHRISTOPHERSON SCHOLARSHIP
HONORARY LIFE MEMBERS
EACH YEAR THE Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation presents deserving students from Farm Bureau families with a $500 Al Christopherson Scholarship. This year’s recipients were Tyler Otte-Dakota County, Danielle Evers-Cottonwood County, Katie Winslow-Fillmore County and Andrew MironWashington-Ramsey County, pictured with Diane and Al Christopherson, center.
LaVonne and George Hermann, Wabasha County THE HONORARY LIFE Award was presented to George and LaVonne Hermann of Wabasha County. The honorees were selected for their distinguished service to Farm Bureau, their community and agriculture.
Farmers to Washington D.C. March 24-28 Join Farm Bureau members from Minnesota as we take our message to federal decision-makers and see Farm Bureau in action. This tour is an ideal opportunity to have an impact on public policy and to see historic Washington, D.C. Highlights Include: s American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) key legislative issues brieﬁng s Visits with Minnesota Congressional delegation, government ofﬁcials and AFBF staff s An embassy visit s Tour the famous landmarks of historic Washington, D.C. Cost: $1,490 per individual based on double occupancy, single occupancy trip is $2,010. Price includes: airfare, bus transfers, four nights hotel and one group dinner.
PRESIDENTS CLUB AWARD NINETEEN COUNTY FARM Bureau presidents were recognized by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation as counties who achieved voting member and total member goals. Pictured back, left to right: Glen Groth, Winona County; Jeremy Geske, Le Sueur County; Scott Schweer, Waseca County; Darvey Sloan, Wabasha County; Donavon Stromberg, Kanabec-Isanti County; Dale Lueck, AitkinCarlton County; and Miles Kuschel, Cass County. Pictured front, left to right: Bruce Brenden, West Otter Tail County; Rosanne Caughey, Crow Wing County; MFBF President Kevin Paap; Tabitha Ubel, Lake of the Woods County; Jason May, Chisago County; and John Juusola, Meeker County. Not pictured are Keith Allen, Goodhue County; Marlin Fay, Mower County; Nathan Roth, Wadena County; Stanley Whitney, Faribault County; Larry Raguse, Traverse County; Bernie Aaronson, Lincoln County; and Tom Griebel, Pipestone County.
Registration: Space is limited, so reserve your spot by sending in a $50 per person, non-refundable deposit before January 10. Given the nature of meetings conducted, the Farmers to Washington, D.C. trip is limited to Farm Bureau members who are 13 years and older. Balance Due: Full payment must be received before January 31, as this is the absolute deadline for submitting the airline passenger list. Grants Available: The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) is offering 10 – $300 grants (one per county) for the Farmers to Washington, D.C. trip. A registration form and $50 deposit must be the submitted to MFBF to be eligible for the grant. Grants are distributed on a ﬁrst come ﬁrst serve basis. Check with your county Farm Bureau for sponsorship opportunities. Register by contacting Susan Duncomb at 651-768-2151 or email@example.com.
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DOUG LAWRENCE, ANOKA COUNTY; MILES KUSCHEL, CASS COUNTY; DOUG KRENIK, LE SUEUR COUNTY THE COUNTY AWARDS of Excellence is the most prestigious of all county Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation awards, recognizing excellence in public policy, leadership and positive image of agriculture through county activities. In the county membership group of less than 120 voting members, the award was BUILDERS CLUB RECOGNITION The Builders Club recognizes Farm Bureau Financial Services agents who have signed 60 or more new members during 2013. This year’s Builders Club includes Paul Chapman, Dan Pumper, Monte Dufault and Kazoua Xiong. Also members of the Builders Club are the top new agents Nicole Vue, Nick Davidson and Ryan Elbert who signed over 35 new members.
GOLDEN PLOW AND DIAMOND AWARD RECOGNITION Thirty-seven Farm Bureau Leaders were recognized as members of the Producers Club at the 2013 Annual Meeting. Ron Nelson of Chisago County was recognized as a Continuing Diamond Award Member, which recognizes those who have signed 250 members in 10 years. Continuing Golden Plow members include Dean Christopherson-Nobles County, Larry LarsonMower County, MFBF President Kevin Paap-Blue Earth County and Joyce Welander-WashingtonRamsey County. Golden Plow members have signed 100 new members in 10 years.
RON KUECHLE, STEARNS COUNTY; GLEN GROTH, WINONA COUNTY
presented to Le Sueur County Farm Bureau for public policy, Cass County Farm Bureau for leadership and Anoka County Farm Bureau for positive image. In the group of 121-200 voting members, the award went to Winona County Farm Bureau for public policy and Stearns County Farm Bureau for positive image. In the
CAROLYN OLSON, LYON COUNTY; SCOTT SCHWEER, WASECA COUNTY
group with more than 200 voting members, the award went to Waseca County Farm Bureau for public policy, Rice County Farm Bureau for leadership and Lyon County Farm Bureau for positive image.
PRODUCERS CLUB Producers Club recognizes volunteer leaders who signed at least five new members to the Farm Bureau organization in the past year. Congratulations to these 37 individuals for helping grow Farm Bureau. Duane Alberts, Dodge County Bernard Aronson, Lincoln County Greg Bartz, Brown County Virginia Bissen, Mower County Rosanne Caughey, Crow Wing County Cynthie Christensen, Houston County Dean Christopherson, Nobles County David Engelbrecht, Watonwan County J. David Fruechte, Lincoln County John Gilbertson, Sr., Beltrami County Daniel Glessing, Wright County Michael Gunderson, Mahnomen County Dave Johnson, Rice County Ron Knable, Headwaters Regional Glenn Krog, Lincoln County Miles Kuschel, Cass County Paul Lanoue, Lyon County Larry Larson, Mower County Douglas Lawrence, Anoka County Fran Miron, Washington-Ramsey County Bill Neary, Arrowhead Regional Ronald Nelson, Chisago County Kevin Paap, Blue Earth County William Peno, Chisago County Chris Radatz, Scott County Alan Roelofs, Lincoln County Debbie Roemhildt, Waseca County Michael Rouillard, Hennepin County Mike Sams, Cass County Douglas Schultz, Nicollet County Paul Stark, Stevens County Gwendolyn Swenson, Chisago County Philip Swenson, East Polk County David Van Loh, Cottonwood County Harley Vogel, Brown County Joyce Welander, Washington-Ramsey County Roger Zastrow, Todd County
MFBF Annual Meeting YOUNG FARMERS & RANCHERS AWARDS
THE 2013 EXCELLENCE in Agriculture Award winner is Morgan Allen of Goodhue County. Morgan is a dairy ruminant nutritionist for Big Gain Feeds. Morgan and her husband Keith also own and run HayCreek Farms, a 40-goat milking herd. The Allens have one son.
THE 2013 DISCUSSION Meet winner is Lucas Sjostrom of Brooten in Stearns County. He and his wife, Alise, live on the family dairy farm. He also is a graduate student in dairy research at the University of Minnesota. Lucas and Alise have one daughter. Other finalists in the Discussion Meet were Jake Hein of Becker County, Joel Mathiowetz of Redwood County and Maria McGinnis of WashingtonRamsey County.
THE 2013 ACHIEVEMENT Award winners are Joe and April Sullivan of Renville County. They grow corn, soybeans, sweet corn and sweet peas near Franklin. The Sullivans have two children.
Busselman hired as Minnesota Farm Bureau Public Policy Director having been The Minnesota away from the Farm Bureau state I grew up Federation (MFBF) in for so long, announced that I look forward Doug Busselman to the has been hired as opportunities the next public and challenges policy director as to reconnect of December 1. with the policy "I’m very eager issues, Farm to rejoin the Bureau Minnesota Farm members and Bureau team and DOUG BUSSELMAN Minnesota look forward to friends” working with the “We are excited to have organization’s volunteer Doug rejoin the Minnesota leaders and my colleagues in Farm Bureau team,” said making a difference for Executive Director Chris Minnesota farm families,” Radatz. “He has a thorough said Busselman. “After
understanding of the Farm Bureau organization and the legislative and regulatory process. He understands the strength and effectiveness of our organization is based on a well-informed and motivated membership base. His experience and background will be an asset to our entire organization and allow him to hit the ground running.” Busselman is a native of Southwestern Minnesota, where he grew up on a family dairy farm near Lake Benton. After receiving his degree in rural communications from the
University of Minnesota Technical College – Crookston, he began his career in 1978 with MFBF as the director of media relations. For the past 25 years, Busselman has been the executive vice president of the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation. Prior to that, he has also served as the director of communications with the North Dakota Farm Bureau and with the ACRES market information service of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Bonnie Mohr “We Live to Share” FFA Prints Available “We Live to Share” signed and numbered litho print from well-known Minnesota artist Bonnie Mohr is a special project of the Minnesota FFA Foundation. A purchase of the print benefits the Minnesota FFA Foundation that supports the Minnesota FFA chapter activities. The cost is $80 per print with a shipping and handling fee of $15. There are buy two get one free, buy five get five free and buy 10 get 11 free sales. Framing options are available. Provide your name, address, phone, email and payment to Minnesota FFA Foundation, PO Box 365, Plainview MN 55964. Questions can be directed to 507-534-0188 or www.mnffafoundation.org. There is also the option to join the Minnesota FFA Foundation Legacy Club. Funds support the development of new and existing chapters. Support is presented to chapters throughout the state. Legacy Club donors pledge $1,000 to the Foundation and receive a canvas print of “We Live to Share” upon completion of the donation.
Annual Meeting Second Harvest Heartland Group SECOND HARVEST HEARTLAND, one of the largest food banks in Minnesota, was one of the tour stops during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting. Over
Photo by Amanda Revier
4,000 pounds of food were packaged for the hungry. Other tour stops included the Star Tribune and the Minnesota State Fair.
Staff Realignment Correlates with Strategic Plan Meirick to Lead Foundation and State Committees – Brenny to work with Southeast Counties “This realignment will result in clearer lines of responsibilities for program and activities.” —Chris Raddatz, MFBF executive director
On December 12, Chris Radatz, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) executive director, announced a realignment of MFBF staff. “This realignment will RUTH MEIRICK result in clearer lines of responsibilities for program and activities, address the issue of staffing the MFB Foundation and focus existing resources, financial and staff, in accordance with our strategic plan,” said Radatz. Ruth Meirick KATIE BRENNY has accepted the foundation director position which is effective January 1 and officed at the MFBF office in Eagan. The main responsibilities of the foundation director will include directing the activities of the Foundation, including fundraising and providing staff leadership for the MFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers and Promotion & Education Committees. Katie Brenny has accepted the position of area program director for the Southeast district effective January 1. She will work with the 11 county Farm Bureaus in that region. “We are excited about these changes and the opportunities they bring to staff, committees, programs and activities,” said Radatz. “We appreciate all the work Katie and Ruth have done and will continue to do in their new positions to serve our members.”
“We look forward to working with the Governor and elected officials on both sides of the aisle to address them as soon as possible.”
Minnesota Farm Bureau Calls for Repeal of Labor Charges for Repair of Farm Machinery Sales Tax
It was announced in December that Minnesota has a positive economic forecast which indicated an $825 million surplus for the coming fiscal year. “This surplus should provide the opportunity for corrections to be made to the sales tax on labor charges on repair of farm machinery passed during the 2013 state legislative session,” said Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) President Kevin Paap. In a letter sent December 9 to Governor Mark Dayton and leaders of the Minnesota Legislature, Paap stated the need for a commitment as well as a legislative path for repeal of the tax on labor charges for repair of farm equipment and the tax on rental and warehousing services. “The expected surplus offers an opportunity to correct the tax issues, which came out at the end of the last session,” said Paap. “We look forward to working with the Governor and elected officials on both sides of the aisle to address them as soon as possible.”
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Collegiate Discussion Meet THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Federation held the ninth annual Collegiate Discussion Meet at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities on November 14. Katie Winslow of Fountain won the competition, receiving a $500 scholarship from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation and advancing to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national competition in February. Pictured are the participants, left to right, Jared Luhman of Goodhue, Winslow, Lisa Roker of Bird Island, Michaela Gallup of Dassel, Kirby Schmidt of Marshall and Sarah Marketon of Howard Lake.
THE AGENTS ASSOCIATION is an opportunity for Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) agents to support and grow their professional career. Association members partner with the Farm Bureau management team to bring concerns and communications to the table for continuous improvement. They are provided with networking and continuous education opportunities to assist in growing their business. In attendance at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting were association leadership Darrell Ingvaldson, Dan Pumper, Roger Punt, Justin Mundt and Paul Chapman.
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Capitol Corner For more information on legislative issues, contact the MFBF Public Policy Team at 651-768-2100 or visit the Legislative Action Center at www.fbmn.org
State Issues n State Budget Outlook A positive prelude to the 2014 Minnesota legislative session might have come with the December 5 release of the November 2013 Budget and Economic Forecast. In this report, the Management and Budget office shared their latest insights for the condition of the state’s funds, projecting a $1.086 billion balance for fiscal year 2014-2015. A report of the same nature that was presented in February of 2013 suggested $627 million deficit for the same fiscal year. Revenue enhancement has yielded a positive $787 million of additional dollars in the latest report and spending cuts have helped in gaining another $247 million. The $2 billion tax increases from the last legislative session have only been in effect since the start of the current fiscal year in July so further budget tracking will be extremely critical as the full-effect and ramifications (positive and potentially negative) become better known. Reimbursement for the K-12 budget shifts, based on state law, will use the first $246 million of the anticipated $1.086 billion balance and another $15 million is required to pay back the state airport fund which was tapped for budget issues back in 2008. This leaves a current estimate of $825 million in the black for the last fiscal year of the current biennium. With the new budget forecast available, legislators making plans for the coming session, which starts February 25, will be evaluating options that many business interests are hopeful will translate to relief from business-to-business sales tax plans. Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) and other agricultural supporters are anxious to use the positive budget forecast to resolve the problems caused with the taxation for labor charges to farm equipment repair as well as the issues connected with the warehouse tax and gift taxes. Taking advantage of the projected surplus outlook to resolve the labor repair sales tax issue, MFBF has asked Governor Mark Dayton and leaders of
both the House and Senate to make a commitment and present a path forward for fixing the matter. Media accounts indicate that Governor Dayton will not be offering any proposals for modifications until the next fiscal report is made available at the end of February 2014. There are, however, indications that he would support elimination of the business-to-business sales taxes which include equipment repair and warehouse services. n Implementing Policy Priorities Accomplishing the results which are spelled out in MFBF’s policy book will only be achieved through the grassroots activity of Farm Bureau members to share their perspectives with elected representatives. In addition to participation in the planned Day on the Hill activities, March 18 and April 1, Farm Bureau members will make a difference through timely action on opportunities for making phone calls, sending texts and emails, writing letters and in general making the most of every opportunity to communicate and interact with legislators. As issues emerge and legislation takes shape, MFBF will use a variety of communications/outreach tools to stay in touch with members, giving alerts on what would be useful in pursuing the organization’s 2014 priority focus areas. We also welcome questions, frequent feedback and two-way conversations as part of the on-going policy implementation process. Contact Doug Busselman, director of public policy, 651- 768-2109 (office), 612-760-7237 (cell) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. n Farm Bureau to Participate in Pollinator Working Group As the Pollinator Stakeholder program advances to develop best management practices to respond to habitat management requirements of pollinators, MFBF will be joining the working group interested in habitats associated with agricultural land. Legislation passed in the last state legislature (H.F. 976) which directs the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to work with a number of associated agencies in developing a
comprehensive set of management practices for the purpose of addressing concerns over the well-being of insect pollinators. “Pollinators” were identified as one of the priority focus areas for the coming year that MFBF will be paying particular attention and will be engaged in addressing.
National News n Proposed 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard Requirement The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule to lower the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) requirement for 2014 below the Congressional mandate as set forth under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The proposal would require refiners blend 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2014, which is down from the mandate of 18.15 billion gallons set for next year. Of the 15.21 billion gallons proposed, 13.01 billion gallons is to come from conventional ethanol and 2.2 billion gallons from advanced biofuels. 1.28 billion gallons of the advanced biofuels target will be in the form of biodiesel. The EPA stated they are using two authorities for reducing the RFS targets. The first allows the agency to lower the advanced biofuel mandate because of a shortage in available supply of cellulosic biofuels. The second authority allows EPA to lower the overall renewable fuel requirement because of “limitations in the volume of ethanol that can be consumed in gasoline given practical constraints on the supply of higher ethanol blends to the vehicles that can use them and other limits on ethanol blend levels in gasoline,” commonly known as the blend wall. More information on the standards, regulations and proposal can be found on the EPA’s website. The comment period for the proposed RFS requirements is now open. To submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-20130479, using one of the following methods:
• www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Email: email@example.com • Mail: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460 For more information on the proposal and how to submit comments, please visit www.regulations.gov. Farm Bureau supports the RFS as written in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and opposes the EPA’s proposal. n Expiring Federal Tax Provisions More than 50 tax provisions will expire at the end of 2013. Congress recessed without addressing the expiring provisions, but it is expected they will address and reinstate the tax extenders when they return to Washington D.C. in January. There are many expiring provisions that are important to farmers and ranchers, some of which include: • Section 179 Small Business Expensing: The maximum amount that a small business can immediately expense when purchasing business assets instead of depreciating them over time will be reduced to $25,000 next year instead of the current maximum amount of $500,000 reduced dollar for dollar when expenditures exceed $2 million. As described in the federal tax code reform below, the House and Senate are proposing changes to the expensing limits; • Bonus Depreciation: The additional 50 percent bonus depreciation will expire at the end of 2013; and • Cellulosic biofuels, alternative fuel refueling property and biodiesel all see credits expire. n Federal Tax Code Reform The Senate Finance Committee continues to work on a proposal to overhaul America’s tax code. Chairman Max Baucus recently released a tax reform discussion draft on depreciation and accounting measures. While the draft
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Minnesota Beef Check-Off Price Increase Proposed The Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council (MBRPC) is proposing a voluntary beef check-off price increase of $1.00 per head. It has been more than a decade since the last referendum request to garner more funds to support the council’s efforts to increase value for beef producers. The current check-off is split evenly between state and national beef promotion councils. The proposed $1.00 per head increase would remain in the state for Minnesota promotion efforts. Minnesota Farm Bureau voting delegates gave their support of the 2014 referendum and the increase of the state checkoff, raising an estimated $500,000 to $750,000 from the proposed voluntary assessment on each head of Minnesota cattle sold in the state. Dairy animals sold for breeding purposes will not be included in the checkoff collection. The checkoff proposal includes a provision for farmers to receive a refund if they wish to not contribute to the
promotional program. Ballot sign-up must be requested by January 17 in order to be on the producer list. Ballots will be mailed from MDA in early March. You are eligible to receive a ballot if you are at least 18 years of age, share directly in the risk of loss from the production of beef during the current or preceding marketing year, are eligible to file an IRS Form 1040 Schedule F, cast only one vote in this election or referendum and meet the qualifications for a producer set forth in the promotional order. Those who request a ballot will ensure his/her ability to vote in the upcoming referendum and other upcoming elections. To ensure producers are on the list to receive a ballot by mail, they can request it in one of four ways: • MDA’s website, mda.state.mn.us
• Call the MDA at 651-201-6013 • Raised with Pride, Handled with Care website, raisedwithpride.com • Call the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council at 952-854-6980 Funds raised from the checkoff, if adopted by Minnesota beef producers who vote, will stay in the state and will be targeted exclusively for enhancing the state’s beef product marketing effort. Current plans are built on the concepts of promoting the value of beef with consumers and professionals in the retail and restaurant industries. For more information from the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, including checkoff history, current efforts, the need for more funding, what added funding can accomplish and frequently asked questions, visit raisedwithpride.com.
4B • JANUARY 2014 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org tCORNER FROM 3B is intended to be evaluated as a package, many of the proposed individual changes would impact farmers and ranchers, including: • Restrictions on the use of cash accounting: The discussion draft proposes to eliminate special cash accounting rules for farming businesses and would make them subject to the general limitation. For family farms and ranches operating as C-corps, the threshold for switching from cash accounting to accrual accounting would shrink from $25 million to $10 million of gross receipts. The new $10 million threshold would also apply to those filing as S-corps and partnerships which
currently have no limitation. Only those conducting business as sole-proprietors would continue to have no cash accounting limitation. • Section 179 Small Business Expensing: The discussion draft continues for one year the maximum amount that may be expensed at $500,000 reduced dollar for dollar by the amount that expenditures exceed $2 million. For subsequent years, the maximum amount that can be deducted would be $1 million reduced dollar for dollar by the amount that expenditures exceed $2 million. • Section 180 Deduction for fertilizer and other soil conditioner: The discussion draft would repeal the ability of farmers to deduct, rather than capitalize over time, fertilizer,
lime and other soil conditioners. • Depreciation: The discussion draft proposes changes to the depreciation system including the depreciation of tangible property. According to the proposal, current depreciation rules would be repealed and would replace the depreciation of individual assets with four “pools of assets” that would be depreciated using the 100 percent declining balance method. The discussion draft also repeals like-kind exchanges which allow capital gains to be deferred if sale proceeds are reinvested in like-kind property within the allowed time frame. Discussion drafts were also released on international tax reform and tax administration.
According to a press release from the Senate Committee on Finance, these drafts “are intended to spur a conversation about areas where Republicans and Democrats may be able to reach agreement on fixing the broken tax code.” The House Ways and Means Committee has also begun to rewrite the federal income tax code. They released several discussion drafts last March. n Farm Bill The House and Senate have recessed for the year without completing a five-year farm bill. Although the four principals of the conference committee have continued to work on a comprise, any final action will take place when
Congress returns in the New Year. A large road block facing the conference process was waiting on the Congressional Budget Office to score pieces that the principals had sent in early December. As scores come in and titles continue to be negotiated, progress is still slowly but surely being made. The House of Representatives passed a one-month extension of the 2008 farm bill before recessing for the year. However, the Senate was not set to bring the bill up in their chamber. Senator Stabenow was confident they can finish their work when they return in January.
Grant County Water Meeting
Photo by Riley Maanum
THE BOIS DE Sioux Water District and Grant County Farm Bureau hosted a meeting on the relationship between the watershed and agriculture. Jon Roeschlin, administrator of the watershed district, discussed reducing flood damage, current and future water retention projects, water management policy and future challenges regarding water quality.
Resolutions Committee ON NOVEMBER 7, the resolutions committee met in the office to review resolutions submitted by counties and the state resolution book in preparation for the voting delegate session to be held at the Annual Meeting. Pictured are committee members Rochelle Krusemark-Martin County, Riley Maanum—NW Area Program Director, Roger Dukowitz—Todd Countyand Mike Rouillard —Hennepin County.
YARD & GARDEN Winter Tips for your Plants l Houseplants Pay special attention to your houseplants to keep them looking healthy this winter. Sun is weaker and days are shorter, so move plants to brighter windows if possible. Combat low indoor humidity by grouping plants together, checking their soil frequently and watering thoroughly with room temperature water
whenever the soil feels dry a little below the surface. Wipe stems and leaf surfaces (upper and lower) with a soft wet rag to remove dust and allow maximum light penetration. The low humidity of most Minnesota houses means that many fungal and bacterial leaf spots and blights do not thrive on houseplants during the winter months. Root rots
U of M
however can be a problem for overwatered plants. To avoid root diseases, use pots that have drainage holes at the bottom. Choose a potting media that provides appropriate drainage. Before watering, test the potting soil with your finger to determine if the plant needs water. Heavy water logged soils that are never allowed to dry out will encourage root rotting
fungi and can result in the wilting and death of infected plants. l Outdoors Spread sand on icy sidewalks, rather than commercially prepared ice-melting chemicals, all of which are potentially damaging to nearby plants. Even fertilizer (sometimes suggested for its ice melting properties) can burn plant roots where it accumulates. To get sand to adhere to the ice, dampen it with a little hot water then throw it sideways, so it skitters across the ice. In spring, sweep it off hard surfaces for re-use. It poses no harm to surrounding soil. l Pruning Advice Have shade trees and fruit trees professionally pruned this month or next. It’s easier to see a tree’s structure when no leaves are present, and the fresh cuts won’t pose a disease or insect problem to oaks, elms, apples or other trees when pruned in winter. Some trees, such as maples, birch and honeylocust are likely to drip lots of sap from wound sites in spring, but they should be fine as long as no more than 25 percent of their canopy was pruned out. This is definitely
not a do-it-yourself project, though. l Valentines Flowers Keep flowers attractive as long as possible by setting them in a cool location when you’re not around to enjoy them. Put them in a spotlessly clean vase filled with barely warm water and floral preservative. Add more water and preservative solution as the level drops, replacing it as soon as it appears cloudy. Trim off any foliage that would sit below water, as it rots easily and make a fresh cut at the base of each stem whenever you change the water. Source: University of Minnesota Extension Yard and Garden News
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YOUNG FARMERS & RANCHERS Finding My Voice While taking a moment to focus on writing a message for this month’s issue of The Voice, I find myself wondering what exactly I should focus on. Should I keep it basic and introduce myself and my family and tell you my agriculture story? Should I make it more topical and discuss in detail an issue in agriculture that is on my mind? Or should I write something about the programs and upcoming events within Farm Bureau? My dilemma in not knowing exactly what to focus on is perhaps very similar to the way we think about our involvement in Farm Bureau as an organization. What are the things that are most important to Farm Bureau members? Is there a correct answer to that question? At Brown County Farm Bureau board meetings, for example, the things each board member finds most crucial and important may be different from the person sitting beside them. Some board members find policy development and the resolution process of very high importance, while others prefer to focus on promotion and education to our consumers and schools. Some focus on membership recruitment and engaging younger members. And then there are those keyed in to the financials of our group. Each has an important role they play as members of the board. As a voice for agriculture, I find Farm Bureau especially important and relevant because it offers many areas for members to get involved and be part of making a difference. My role for the coming year will be to serve as the chairperson of the Minnesota
Hometown: New Ulm Children: Aubree, 5, and Kate, 3 and Britta, 5 months. Educational Background: Both graduates of the University of Minnesota College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences — Kelly with a degree in agricultural education, and Sarah with a degree in animal science with a dairy industry emphasis. Farm Description: Kelly is a partner in a professional beef cattle sale management business. Sarah serves as the communications director for Associated Milk Producers Inc. They are KELLY SCHMIDT raising their daughters in YF&R COMMITTEE CHAIR the country on a small acreage west of New Ulm. Their herd currently includes Simmental cows and Holstein heifers. Why were you interested in getting involved with YF&R? Having both been active in 4-H, FFA and junior cattle associations, we were looking for a professional ag-related program we could enjoy together. The Minnesota Farm Bureau YF&R program offers us the opportunity to gain valuable insight and personal connections within Minnesota agriculture. The things we’ve learned, and people we’ve met have enriched our careers and family life. Dates to Remember: January 8—Leadership Conference registration deadline; January 16—Discussion Meet registration deadline; January 24-25—Leadership Conference, Fargo; February 7-11—AFBF YF&R Conference, Virginia Beach, VA. Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. Together with my wife, Sarah, we look forward to the year ahead, and the opportunity to serve in a greater leadership role. One of Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s focus areas for this year is to build leaders at all levels. I am excited about this goal and to play a part in seeing it happen. I have been inspired by leaders that have served before me and hope to be an inspiration for leaders yet to
Legislative Forecast Panel AS PART OF the 95th MFBF Annual Meeting, participants attended a session on the 2014 Legislative Forecast. Panel members included Representative Jeanne Poppe, Senator Gary Dahms and American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Congressional Relations Mary Kay Thatcher.
come. If you’re a young farmer or rancher, I look forward to meeting you this year and hope to see you at the 2014 Leadership Conference, January 24-25 in Fargo, North Dakota. I started with a series of questions so that seems a fitting way to end. What role do you play in Farm Bureau? Whatever that role may be, embrace it. Working together we all can be the strong voice we need to be for American agriculture.
H I P FARM & BUSINESS HOTELAUTOMOBILE S R E B M HEALTH ME ITS F E N E B FINANCIAL SERVICES HAS C 8 FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT E G A SEE P TELEPHONE SERVICES
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auto body directory
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HEALTH & WELLNESS Why Johnny Can’t Sleep
SEED point Meridian
Having involved parents and feeling connected to school increase the likelihood that a teen will get sufficient sleep, a new study finds. Previous research has suggested that developmental factors, specifically lower levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, may explain why children get less sleep as they become teenagers. But this study—published in the December issue of the
Journal of Health and Social Behavior—found that social ties, including relationships with parents and friends, may have a more significant effect on changing sleep patterns in teens than biology. “My study found that social ties were more important than biological development as predictors of teen sleep behaviors,” said David Maume, a sociology professor at the University of Cincinnati, in a
MN Ag Leader
news release from the American Sociological Association. Maume analyzed data collected from nearly 1,000 young people when they were aged 12 to 15. During these years, the participants’ average sleep duration fell from more than nine hours per school night to less than eight hours. He found that parents’ oversight of teens—especially in establishing a bedtime—had a strong effect on healthy sleep habits. “Research shows that parents who keep tabs on their kids are less likely to see them get into trouble or use drugs and alcohol,” said Maume. “My findings suggest a similar dynamic with sleep. Parents who monitor their children’s behavior are more likely to have kids that get adequate rest. Given that children generally get less sleep as they become teenagers, parents should be ever more vigilant at this stage.” Teens also had longer and better quality sleep when they felt they were a part of their school or had friends who cared about school and were positive, social people. “Teens who have pro-social friends tend to behave in prosocial ways, which includes taking care of one’s health by getting proper sleep,” said Maume. When teenagers have trouble sleeping, doctors often recommend prescription drugs to address the problem, he noted. “My research indicates that it’s necessary to look beyond biology when seeking to understand and treat adolescents’ sleep problems,” said Maume. “Such an approach may lead to more counseling or greater parental involvement in teens’ lives, both of which are less invasive than commonly prescribed medical solutions and, at least in the case of parental involvement, cheaper.” Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
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Foundation Donation Corrections In the November issue of The Voice of Agriculture, we inadvertently failed to recognize some of the contributors to the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation. Thank you to all of the supporters of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation – your support is greatly appreciated!
Benefactor’s Society ($10,000 or greater) AgStar Financial Services Farm Bureau Financial Services Minnesota Corn Growers Association Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council Patron’s Society Diamond ($5,000-$9,999) University of Minnesota – Crookston Ruby ($1,000 to $2,499) Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A. BusinessMax Al and Diane Christopherson Kevin and Nancy Dahlman DuPont Pioneer Mark Maiers Monsanto Kevin and Julie Paap Seneca Syngenta
AgriBytes n FSIS Releases Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Salmonella USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has released its Salmonella Action Plan outlining the steps it will take to address the most pressing problem it faces—Salmonella in meat and poultry products. An estimated 1.3 million illnesses can be attributed to Salmonella every year. The Salmonella Action Plan is the agency’s strategy to best address the threat of Salmonella in meat and poultry products. The plan identifies modernizing the outdated poultry processing inspection system as a top priority. By focusing inspectors’ duties solely on food safety, at least 5,000 illnesses can be prevented each year, according to a USDA news release. n ‘Barn Weddings’ Lucrative for California Dairy Farmers Nuptials at a working dairy farm may not be the first thing that comes to mind upon hearing the phrase “destination wedding.” But for some dairy farm owners in California , hosting weddings has become a lucrative sideline to the main business of producing milk. Possibly fueling the trend. “Antique milk cans and bales of hay are objects of lust on Pinterest, a social media bulletin board particularly favored by brides-to-be,” according to an LA Times article.
Day on the Hill The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation will sponsor two “Day on the Hill” activities. Issue briefings will be held from 10 a.m. to 11a.m. at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Tuesday, March 18 Southeast, South Central and Southwest Areas Tuesday, April 1 Northwest, North, West Central and East Central Areas For more information, call your county Farm Bureau or contact the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Public Policy Team at 651-768-2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
8B • JANUARY 2014 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
PROMOTION & EDUCATION One Voice
Hometown: Starbuck MN; grew up in Bowman, ND Family: Husband of 25 years, Dale; Children: Quincy, 20 at North Dakota State University; Levi, 18 at South Dakota School of Mines; Brady, high school sophomore; Kyerra, 7th grade; and Zach, 4th grade Educational Background: Bachelor of Science from North Dakota State University in animal science with a business emphasis and minor in ag economics Farm Description: We run a flock of around 175 Registered Hampshire NADA CARTER and commercial white-face ewes. We P&E COMMITTEE CHAIR sell some breeding stock and market natural lambs through the Dakota Lamb Growers Cooperative. We also have around 25 registered quarter horse broodmares and as many young stock. We sell foals through my family’s annual quarter horse production sale in Bowman, ND; 2014 will be our 55th year. We also train and sell a few horses. We compete in local 4-H and open events when time allows. Hobbies: I enjoy attending livestock sales, clinics and conferences to hone my knowledge and skills. I am also an avid reader and usually have more than one book started at any given time. I enjoy self-improvement, mysteries and Christian fiction to name a few. Why did you get involved with P&E? I became involved with P&E initially because someone invited me to give it a try. I grew up on a ranch with livestock and married a shepherd. Promotion of our product has always been important. As a direct result of my P&E involvement, I became enlightened to the extent of the threats against today’s agriculture, and it has become even more important to me to inform and engage others about agriculture. Dates to Remember: January 8 – Leadership Conference Registration deadline; January 24-25 – Leadership Conference, Fargo; February – Food Awareness Month can too! Here are some ways that you can make your voice heard in agriculture: • Take part in county meetings, especially when they are having a resolutions meeting or are meeting with legislators to hear their stand on issues. • Write your legislators! American Farm Bureau’s Senior
mn soybean assn
Kimmes Bauer Reinke
Director, Congressional Relations, Mary Kay Thatcher, states that personal letters and personal emails are even more effective than phone calls. Pick up a pen or type a letter! MFBF sends out Action Alerts on time-sensitive issues; get on the email list for those and then respond when they come through. • Volunteer to help read to a local classroom, use Accurate Ag books and tell the story of agriculture. • Host a farm tour. Have your farm “consumer ready.” Take pride in the way it looks and make sure your consumers have nothing to question in your practices. • Join the Speak for Yourself group, this program helps Farm Bureau members interested in sharing their farm story to assemble a powerpoint presentation on “your story” and then works with the farmers to schedule presentations to local civic groups to engage consumers and help them understand today’s agriculture. Contact Marytina Lawrence at email@example.com. • Attend Farm Bureau and other agricultural and commodity conferences in order to raise your own awareness about what needs to be done (and to enlighten you about what’s being done without your knowledge, consent or approval!) • Use social media including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to shed a positive light on agriculture to your expanded circle of influence. Today’s agriculture is under constant attack from antiagriculture groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and many more that question our production practices and just don’t understand because they are so far removed from the farm. Agriculturists from all segments and commodities need to promote a unified stance and show our consumers that we are committed to a safe and healthy food supply for all. Do your part to put your very best foot forward for today’s agriculture, take a stand and help make a difference!
1C • JANUARY 2014 • MFBF ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org
FARM BUREAU BELIEFS
“We are Farm Bureau members because it is a grassroots organization—it listens to its members. While we are busy on our farm, Farm Bureau is working for us.” – Dave and Julie Marquardt, Wright County
w America’s unparalleled progress is based on freedom and dignity of the individual, sustained by basic moral and religious concepts. 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 republic...as 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.
P.O. Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164 651-768-2100 Fax: 651-768-2159 info@ mn.org • mn.org
Minnesota Farm Bureau ®
2013 ANNUAL REVIEW
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New Website Unveiled MFBF unveiled a new look to the mn.org website. In addition to brighter colors and up-to-date technology, the new website is organized to make information easier to access and provide necessary resources to Farm Bureau leaders. Website visitors can still ﬁnd information about the organization, member services, leadership, promotion, educational resources, public policy, news, events and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation.
“Farm Bureau has an exceptional array of resources to continue to help groups make the best better. ” –Ann Marie Ward, Beltrami County
The vision of an organization is held in part by all of its members. The practical vision is the responsive statement of hope within the given environment. It provides a sense of the destination of the eﬀort. It tells us where we are going, what the accomplishments, outcomes, changes and results are that we are seeking by our eﬀorts.
1. Policy • Solid, sound policy development, advocacy and implementation 2. Leadership • Member strengths identiﬁed and utilized • Enhanced collaboration with agriculture organizations • Eﬀective grassroots: deﬁned, groomed, empowered and engaged 3. Positive Image • Strengthened Farm Bureau brand • Enhanced trust with “key inﬂuencers” regarding today’s agriculture
These people are making a DIFFERENCE...
How about you? Minnesota Farm Bureau ®
ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO JOIN TODAY!
JANUARY 2014 • MFBF ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org • 3C
95 Years Strong –
Policy, Positive Image, Leadership are also a part of Farmers Feed US. Check out the videos at farmersfeedus.org/mn/ for another great resource. A number of programs focus on communicating and reaching out to the consumer. Our Ag Cab Lab program is exhibited at long-term exhibit areas such as the Children’s Museum of Rochester or the Headwater’s Science Museum in Bemidji. Through the Speak for Yourself program, farmers across Minnesota presented to over 120 service organizations and community key inﬂuencers about their farms. The Meeker County Farm Bureau lead a coalition of county Farm Bureaus from across the state to communicate how Minnesota Farmers CARE on billboards by the state Capitol, Target Field and during the Minnesota State Fair. Our Minnesota State Fair eﬀorts reached over 70,000 consumers with Farm Bureau promoting our eﬀorts in new areas through mommy blogger promotion and state fair apps to name a few. We continue to strengthen Farm Bureau’s identity of Farmers • Families • Food with members and potential members while improving consumer trust through the Minnesota Farmers CARE initiative.
President’s Message This year, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) placed a priority on implementing the new strategic plan in order to remain a growing, relevant and eﬀective organization for another 95 years. This new strategic plan, which we refer to as “Re-deﬁning Relevance,” identiﬁed three major areas of focus for MFBF: Policy, Leadership and Positive Image. Membership In order for our Farm Bureau to focus on these areas we need the membership and revenue streams to enable us to do so. Thank you to everyone who asked your friends, neighbors and families to join the largest general farm organization in Minnesota and the United States. Membership matters, and your eﬀorts helped Minnesota Farm Bureau grow our membership in 2013 to 27,609 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, the 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. Policy One of the strengths of our organization is our grassroots policy development. Our policy is strong and respected because of our thoroughness and steps in the process. We continue to see strong participation at the Council of County Presidents and Day on the Hill events. Your eﬀorts to put a face to farming with your members of the Minnesota Legislature does have an impact. The outreach done by county Farm Bureaus to invite their adopted legislator from urban communities to tour agriculture in outstate Minnesota or ride in a combine do make a diﬀerence. This past year, we saw increased attendance on our Farmers to Washington D.C. trips in March and September. Sharing personal stories on how legislation aﬀects our families and our farms are impactful. Much of our discussion at the national level focused on Minnesota’s forage shortage and the need to pass: a ﬁve-year farm bill, agricultural labor reform and waterways infrastructure. We also are implementing new ways for Farm Bureau members to be involved in our policy development process. Check out the videos on youtube.com/MinnesotaFarmBureau. Positive Image We continue to re-align and invest resources to enhance consumer trust through Minnesota Farmers CARE and strengthen the Farm Bureau brand – Farmers • Families • Food. MFBF has a greater focus on social media in order to communicate with you, our member, as well as consumers seeking information about agriculture and Minnesota Farm Bureau. The website was re-designed and contains tools and resources for our members. MFBF is also a member of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance which strives to provide resources for farmers to engage with consumers and key inﬂuencers. Check out fooddialouges.com. We
Leadership Development Farm Bureau prides itself in developing strong leaders for rural communities and local Farm Bureaus. These eﬀorts begin with our youth through our partnerships with the FFA and our state’s agricultural education teachers/FFA advisors and with our 4-H clubs at the local level as well as our working relationship with the state 4-H ambassadors. We hold yearly trainings with both the state 4-H Ambassadors and the state FFA oﬃcer team, as well as, are involved in the Minnesota Agriculture Ambassador training. These are just an example of some of the trainings we are involved with. We have also had an emphasis on collegiate Farm Bureaus and collegiate outreach with the ﬁrst Collegiate Farm Bureau meeting held at South Central Technical College this fall. Our Collegiate Discussion Meet along with our Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Leadership Contests have seen an increase in participation. Skills attained during these leadership opportunities are applicable in everyday life and strengthen agriculture’s voice. This past year, we refocused and combined our once separate Promotion and Education Conference and YF&R Conference to the Leadership Conference. Each area has a learning track with an enhanced focus on leadership development skills. We hope this renewed focus helps increase the eﬀectiveness and eﬃciencies of local Farm Bureau organizations, helps identify new leaders, expands the membership base and builds stronger county Farm Bureaus. In Closing We appreciate your membership and dedication to strengthen Farm Bureau’s and agriculture’s voice. 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. This is a journey not a destination. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to Farm Bureau! Sincerely,
Kevin Paap, President
arm Bureau is an organization guided and directed by our nearly 30,000 member families – teachers, farmers, 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 Development Farm Bureau works to develop, advocate and implement solid, sound policy. w Positive Image Farm Bureau works to enhance consumer trust in farmers. w Leadership Development Farm Bureau works to develop eﬀective, engaged leaders.
Farm Bureau’s standing as the most inﬂuential grassroots farm organization in the world is based on the fact that by working together, we produce results each and every year.
4C • JANUARY 2014 • MFBF ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org
“Our entire Congressional delegation was receptive to us and our issues in Washington, D.C. They count on Farm Bureau for advice.” –Pat Bakeberg, Wright County
Your Voice – Our Future Farm Bureau is constantly serving as a watch dog on the local, state and national level for our members. Whether it is legislation or regulations, Farm Bureau is able to communicate with elected oﬃcials to explain the consequences of implementation. 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 Washington D.C. or mobilizing our grassroots actions, Farm Bureau has a successful position in the political arena.
Solid, sound policy development, advocacy and implementation
w Forage Shortage Issue: Due to a combination of winter kill, a wet spring and the lingering eﬀects of previous droughts, livestock farmers dealt with severe alfalfa losses around the state. These losses and the short supply to the previous droughts left many across the state facing a severe forage shortage. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau joined other agricultural groups from around the state to raise awareness of this issue. Ten groups from various agricultural sectors sent a letter to our Congressional delegation, government agencies and USDA Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack detailing the dire situation Minnesota was in and asking for their help to ﬁnd a solution. Calls were held with Minnesota farmers and Congressional oﬃces in order to explain what was occurring on the ground, as well as hear what possible options could be addressed in D.C. Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap and public policy staﬀ traveled to Washington D.C. to continue discussing and stress the importance of this issue. President Paap met with all 10 members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation, United States Department of Agriculture Chief of Staﬀ Krysta Harden and Risk Management Agency Administrator Brandon Willis. Result: Minnesota farmers continue to face a diﬃcult situation. Solutions are still being pursued to ﬁnd some relief. Farm Bureau members concerns were heard. Secretary Vilsack declared an emergency declaration for 35 counties and contiguous counties. Those counties were eligible for emergency loan assistance. Emergency haying and grazing on CRP land was approved in 19 counties to help
State Legislative Priorities
agricultural products and inputs. While movement continues to slowly be made on these important issues, the work is not done yet. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau members took action to urge their elected oﬃcials to get a ﬁve year farm bill done, take action on agricultural labor reform and pass a waterways infrastructure bill. While progress continues to be made on these important issues, the voice of Farm Bureau members needs to be heard. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Action w State Estate Tax Alert Center at mn.org is a resource Issue: After passing an estate tax available to contact elected oﬃcials exemption at the state level in 2011, on these important agricultural issues. legislation was needed in 2013 to Another eﬀective way to bring these clarify the qualiﬁed farm property important issues to our members of deﬁnition used for an additional $4 Congress is to meet with them on million exemption from the state Capitol Hill. Over 35 Farm Bureau estate tax. Action: Qualifying farm property has members traveled to Washington D.C. in September 2013 to meet with their a total exemption of $5 million from members of Congress to explain facethe state estate tax. These to-face how these issues aﬀected real clariﬁcations were included to make sure that qualiﬁed farm property held Minnesota farms. Farm Bureau in family farm trusts, LLCs or LLPs will members from Minnesota visit Washington D.C. twice a year to make qualify for the additional exemption. sure that staﬀ and members of Result: The additional $4 million Congress are hearing directly from the exemption from the state estate tax means that there will be less state tax farmers from across the state. Join us on one of these trips to share your implications as farms are transferred story. to the next generation of Minnesota Result: Members of Congress trust farmers. the opinions of Farm Bureau members and leaders. Legislators are inﬂuenced w Bring the Heat by what they know and what they Issue: There were many big issues hear from the people they represent. facing agriculture during the 113th By sharing our story, Farm Bureau Congress that were held up in a gridlocked Congress and needed to be members have a voice in what is happening. We cannot aﬀord for addressed. Farmers and ranchers issues that impact agriculture to be need Washington to end the inaction on immigration and agricultural labor decided by elected oﬃcials with agriculture’s needs. Farm Bureau reform to provide a legal and stable members need to stay informed and supply of workers, break the logjam stay involved. of inaction on improving our waterways transportation infrastructure to provide economical and eﬃcient way of transporting provide additional relief. Minnesota Farm Bureau is committed to being a voice for farmers across the state. By joining other groups and forming coalitions dedicated to ﬁnding the same solutions, voices from across the state are ampliﬁed. While more permanent solutions continue to be found, the pressing concerns of Farm Bureau members are on the forefront of the policy agenda.
w Promoting animal agriculture w Transportation funding w Renewable energy w Water quality w Forestry w Water management w Taxes w Private property rights
National Legislative Priorities
w Animal agriculture w Energy and transportation w Environment and land use w Farm policy w Immigration and farm labor w International trade w Rural development w Tax reform
JANUARY 2014 • MFBF ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org • 5C
“I’m a Farm Bureau member because I am passionate about agriculture, and Farm Bureau allows me to be a leader in my local agriculture community.” –Laine Lewin, McLeod County
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 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.
w 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 public policy team hosted a brown bag lunch event at the University of Minnesota, where students were updated on the farm bill and other agriculture policy topics. Students asked questions and learned about careers in public policy. Minnesota Farm Bureau also participated in the annual Ag Awareness Day on the Minneapolis campus. South Central College held the ﬁrst ever collegiate Farm Bureau meeting, where over 60 college students learned about being involved in Farm Bureau and the Young Farmers & Ranchers program. Minnesota Farm Bureau hosts a yearly training with the state FFA oﬃcers which also includes a meeting with the agricultural commodity’s communication directors; assists in training the state 4-H ambassadors and assist 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. 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.
LEADERSHIP Member strengths identiﬁed and utilized; Enhanced collaboration with agriculture organizations; Eﬀective grassroots: deﬁned, groomed, empowered and engaged w 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: This 2013 Leadership Conference was held in Bloomington. Participants participated in a capitol experience or consumer engagement track. The capitol experience was a hands-on legislative experience at the Minnesota State Capitol. Consumer engagement included being smarter than an activist, growing victory in
the Middle East, USDA school lunch program standards, partnering with Second Harvest Heartland and engaging consumers in eﬀective conversations. Attendees also were given a kit to go back to their local county to use in the classroom to teach elementary age children about agriculture and pizza, along with receiving two books about beef. Result: Over 200 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 w State Fair Issue: The Minnesota State Fair is the largest gathering of people in Minnesota and an opportunity to reach a wide variety of people with a positive message of agriculture. Action: In order to empower volunteers to engage in eﬀective conversations with attendees of the Minnesota State Fair, an interactive scavenger hunt of the building was created to learn about each of the four areas of Minnesota Farmers CARE. State fair attendees stopped at each area, Animals • Environment • Food • Families, to search for the answers to the scavenger hunt. The ﬁnal question included asking a farmer volunteer a question about their farm, which allowed for one-on-one interactions between fairgoers and Farm Bureau members. Upon completion, they received a thermal lunch bag. Result: Over 70,000 consumers were reached with the Minnesota Farmers CARE message at the Minnesota State Fair. Attendees met real farmers and were more conﬁdent with what farmers are doing to grow their food and protect the environment. Farm Bureau members learned how to share their stories and engage in meaningful conversations to correct misconceptions about agriculture. Giveaway items and lasting images give a positive reminder of the positive work farmers do in Minnesota.
w 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. 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 refrigerator styled handout full of consumer focused information about safe cooking in the kitchen and 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.
“Farm Bureau is able to have candid conversations with our elected oﬃcials that turn into results and a better life for Minnesotans.” –Lucas Sjostrom, Stearns County
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Strengthened Farm Bureau brand; Enhanced trust with key inﬂuencers regarding today’s agriculture
and engage consumers with farmers driven by local Farm Bureaus has been very successful. Projects include metro billboards; local billboards; newspaper ads; placemats used at annual meetings and Breakfasts on the Farms; movie theater and radio ads; pop up banners; back packs for 4-H youth leadership; state fair displays; county 4-H herdsmanship displays; bookmarks; newspaper inserts; and brochures. This year’s projects had over 20 million consumer impressions.
Issue: Consumers are more removed from agriculture than ever before. The Minnesota Farmers CARE materials were developed for county Farm Bureaus to communicate and connect with consumers. Maintaining and regaining the trust of consumers as the number one resource on information regarding Animals • Environment • Food • Family is a priority. Action: Meeker County Farm Bureau, in partnership with the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation and 21 other county Farm Bureaus, placed agricultural messages on four metro area billboards throughout the summer, including by the Minnesota State Capitol, Target Field and the state fairgrounds. This project demonstrated local leadership and initiative for consumer outreach. In addition, county Farm Bureaus across the state implemented local projects in order to be proactive with consumers not directly involved in agriculture. Whoever deﬁnes the “issue” are the ones who have positive outcomes. Result: The Minnesota Farmers CARE, Committed to Agriculture while Respecting the Earth, Animals • Environment • Food • Family initiative to connect
Eﬀorts to enhance the positive image of agriculture go 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.
“Having the resources through Farm Bureau allows me to learn from others and stay informed of the current issues. It’s all about relationships and I appreciate the network Farm Bureau has created.” —Joel and Amanda Mathiowetz, Redwood County
w Ag Cab Lab w America’s Heartland, Farmers Feed US and United States Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Issue: It is important for agriculture organizations to represent themselves in a uniﬁed front. 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. Three of these organizations are America’s Heartland, a television program on public television; Farmers
Feed US, a coalition of Minnesota agriculture organizations promoting safe and healthy food; and the United States Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, a nationwide organization aiming to answer questions about how farmers raise our food and care for their animals. Result: Being part of 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.
Issue: Consumers are hungry to learn about what farmers do to produce their food, ﬁber and fuel, and the Ag Cab Labs are an interactive way to communicate with them. Although consumers are hungry to learn more about their food, hands on opportunities to do so are limited for some key inﬂuencer audiences. Action: The Ag Cab Lab looks like and sounds like a tractor, four-wheel drive tractor or combine and allows viewers to sit inside an actual cab and move the levers, push pedals and drive the steering wheel. A 90-second interactive game allows drivers to plant, disc or harvest depending on which cab they are in. The Ag Cab Labs have been at the Minnesota State Fair in the Minnesota Farm Bureau booth and located inside
w Speak for Yourself Issue: Over half of all Minnesotans have never met a farmer. Consumers are extremely interested in their food and where it 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 and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council to hold two training sessions for farmer speakers throughout Minnesota. The ﬁrst was an enrichment training for previous participants of Speak for Yourself to work on answering tough questions and sharpen media interview skills. The second was a ﬁrst-time training for nine new speakers where they learned about hot topics in agriculture, developed their farm story and practiced sharing in the safe environment. Result: In total, 48 farmer leaders are trained speakers through Speak for Yourself. With the help of Eidson & Partners, these speakers were able to address more than 120 community organizations, including local rotary clubs, lions clubs and school boards. Participants were provided with presentation summary sheets to leave behind with their audiences and business cards to keep the conversation about food and farming going. Speak for Yourself, also known as Farming Today, participants are also engaged in the food conversation online through social media and blogging.
the CHS Miracle of Birth Center, the most popular free event at the fair. The Ag Cab Lab was also at Severs Corn Maze and Headwaters Science Museum in Bemidji. New this year, the Ag Cab Lab was featured in its own exhibit at the Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester. The farm display included the Ag Cab Lab-Tractor, a My American Farm game kiosk, accurate ag book reading corner and a farm play area. The three-month exhibit was so successful that the Ag Cab Lab will now be part of a semi-permanent exhibit at the museum. Result: New features allow drivers to gain a better understanding of what farmers do. Thousands of people have had the opportunity to experience an Ag Cab Lab and be a farmer, ﬁrsthand.
JANUARY 2014 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 7C
8C • JANUARY 2014 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP!
FARM & BUSINESS
n Grainger, Inc. 10% discount. Offers more than 220,000 parts and supplies at a discounted rate to Farm Bureau members. Free freight on all grainger.com orders. Three ways to order – call, online or stop by your local Grainger store. Reference state code #860600410. Call 877-202-2594 or log onto grainger.com.
n ScriptSave A prescription drug savings card. Save on brand name and generic prescription purchases at local pharmacies and use Group Number 941. Visit scriptsave.com and go to card services page, click on option to enroll and enter requested information. Print out your card. Or call 800-700-3957 to request your card.
n Farm Bureau Insurance and Financial Services The companies of Farm Bureau Financial Services* offer a wide range of competitive products and services to Minnesota Farm Bureau members. We can help meet your individual and business needs through all stages of your life with home, vehicle, farm/ranch and life insurance, along with products for retirement and education funding, estate preservation and more. Contact your Farm Bureau agent or visit our website at fbfs.com today for more information.
n NEW! Case IH Tractor and Equipment Incentive Program Eligible Farm Bureau members will receive an incentive discount – from $300-$500 – when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealerships. This discount is stackable, meaning it can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. A current Farm Bureau membership verification certificate must be presented to the Case IH dealer in advance of product delivery to receive an incentive discount. Go to fbadvantage.com. n AgriPlan/BizPlan Save $5,000 a Year with AgriPlanNOW! TASC’s AgriPlanNOW Section 105 Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) plans save members an average of $5,000 annually by enabling family farmers and other qualified small business owners to deduct 100 percent of their family health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical, vision and dental expenses not covered by insurance as business expenses. TASC offers an industry-exclusive audit guarantee, a money back guarantee and a TASC card to make medical expense reimbursement as easy as the swipe of a debit card. Farm Bureau members in Minnesota receive a 15% discount. For more information, contact TASC toll-free at 855-591-0562. Be sure to mention discount code MNFA. For a free tax savings analysis, visit the MN Farm Bureau affiliate partner page online at http://bit.ly/MNfarmbureau. n Small Business Transition The topic of business transition is on the mind of many farmers and ranchers. Log onto Farm Bureau Financial Services SmallBusinessTransition.com. The site is aimed as a connection point for current and future farm/ranch owners. Gather information and ideas for the planning process, the conversation and getting started. n fbapparel Farm Bureau’s advertising and promotional specialties. Check out their website at fbapparel.com or call John Speck at 847-622-4892.
FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT For tickets and information on benefits call 651-768-2114. Order forms are found on fbmn.org. n Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium, Mall of America Check out the re-designed aquarium. Members receive up to 40% discount on tickets. Also order online at fbmn.org. n Nickelodeon Universe®, Mall of America The nation’s largest indoor family theme park. Discounted all day wristband tickets may be ordered at fbmn.org. n Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Discount card—offering $2 adult and $1 child off zoo admission and $1 off IMAX Theatre admission. n Valleyfair, Shakopee Members receive a savings off gate price tickets for adults. Tickets may be ordered at fbmn.org. n Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul Enjoy discounts to events at xcelenergycenter.com/MNfarm. The site is updated as new events are announced. n Water Park of America, by Mall of America Water Park of America will honor a Sunday-Friday water park general admission rate of $15 per person per day or Saturday $20 per person per day. Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America – save 25% off standard overnight room rates. Discount coupon can be downloaded at fbmn.org. Use promotional code “FARM” to redeem. (All rates are subject to availability and blackout dates.) waterparkofamerica.com/fbmn.
n Anytime Fitness, LLC Farm Bureau members in Minnesota and their immediate family members are eligible to enjoy the following at participating Anytime Fitness clubs: 10% off standard monthly fees; 50% off standard enrollment fees*; Free, 7-day trial passes offered to members who bring proof of their membership to an Anytime Fitness club (one pass per person). Anytime Fitness honors health care fitness incentive programs. * Valid at participating locations. For a complete list of club locations, visit anytimefitness.com. n Stroke Detection Plus Stroke Detection Plus is a mobile vascular screening company that provides Farm Bureau members a $35 savings on preventive tests to help identify those at high risk for stroke, vascular disease or osteoporosis. For more information call 877-732-8258 or log on to strokedetectionplus.com. n QualSight LASIK Offers a 40% - 50% off the national average price savings on LASIK vision correction at over 700 locations nationwide. QualSight doctors are credentialed, Board Certified and use the latest FDA technologies. Call 877-507-4448 or visit qualsight.com/-MNFB for a doctor near you. n Clear Value Hearing Exclusively for Farm Bureau members—receive up to 60% off pricing on Starkey hearing instruments. Annual screenings for you and your immediate family. Free one-year battery supply. Before purchasing call 888-497-7447 or visit clearvaluehearing.com.
TELEPHONE SERVICES n T-Mobile Switch to T-Mobile today, and join the MILLIONS from other national carriers who have saved! Save hundreds yearly, over other carriers, with the Farm Bureau discounts. Discounts include: • 12% discount off your monthly, recurring fee for new and existing customers. Exclusions and contract extensions apply. • WAIVED activation fees. • Discount applies to a maximum of 5 lines. • FREE shipping. • Special 30-day return policy on new activations. • No annual service contract • For more information see fbmn.org. New customers call 866-464-8662 then choose option 3 with the MFB promo code 10100TMOFAV.
HOTEL n Choice Hotels Save 20% off rates at almost 5,000 hotels worldwide. Ascend, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, Cambria Suites, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Mainstay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotels, EconoLodge and Rodeway Inn. For reservations call 800-2582847 or log onto choicehotels.com. NEW ID # 00209660. n Wyndham Hotel Group Farm Bureau members receive a rate up to 20% off at nearly 7,400 participating hotels. Call ahead to 877-670-7088 to make reservations at Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, Travelodge, Knights Inn, Wingate Inn, Baymont Inns & Suites, Dream Hotels, Night Hotels, TryP, Super 8, Microtel, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Garden, Wyndham Grand and Hawthorn Suites (10% discount). Refer to group number 8000002603. Visit wyndham.com.
* Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company, West Des Moines, Iowa n Farm Bureau Bank Offers Farm Bureau members core banking services including: credit cards, FDIC insured deposit accounts, vehicle loans, residential mortgage loans and business lines of credit. To learn more or open an account visit farmbureaubank.com.
n Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells, WI A perk for the whole pack! A 10% savings off best available room rates and includes up to four waterpark passes. Additional passes may be purchased for $25 per person. Visit greatwolf.com or call 800-559-9653 to make reservations. Use code: MNFB551A. (Offer guaranteed when reservations are made 30 days prior to arrival date).
AUTOMOBILE n General Motors Eligible Farm Bureau members in Minnesota receive a $500 private offer on each qualifying 2013 or 2014 model year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicle they purchase or lease or $1,500 off your next 2013 or 2014 regular cab, heavy duty (2500/3500 Series) truck! Must be a member for at least 60 days prior to date of delivery. To obtain your GM certificate, go to fbadvantage.com, click on “Minnesota,” enter in your member number (ie. 9800000) and zip code. Questions can be directed to 651-768-2114. Offer available through 4/1/14. n AAA Farm Bureau members receive up to a 20% discount off AAA membership, applies to new and renewal. Waiver of $10 enrollment fee for new members. For more information on this exclusive program, contact AAA at 800-677-2227. Be sure to mention that you are a Farm Bureau member and refer to Group #M875. aaa.com. n Avis Car Rental Save up to 25% on daily, weekend and weekly rates. For information and reservations, call 800-422-3809 or log onto avis.com. Mention your Avis worldwide discount number: Minnesota Farm Bureau, A298823.
EXTRA REWARDS n Theft & Arson Reward Service Rewards individuals up to $1,000 for offering information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) committing theft, arson or vandalism to property belonging to Farm Bureau members. Forms available at local Farm Bureau offices or call 651-768-2114. n No-cost Accidental Death Insurance Accidental death insurance policy for the member, spouse and unmarried children younger than 22 years and living at home. The maximum amount of the policy is up to $2,000 for the member and spouse and $1,000 for the children. For more information call 651-768-2114. See fbmn.org. n Farm Bureau Marketer Farm Fresh Guide For the farmer who would like to sell their farm fresh items direct to the consumer. Publishes in the May edition and at fbmn.org. To be included contact Judy Pilcher, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-768-2114, Fax: 651-768-2159 or visit fbmn.org.
For more details visit fbmn.org