Page 1


VOLUME 37 • No. 1

of Agriculture


FARM BUREAU MEMBERS represen�ng nearly every county and regional Farm Bureau met during the Vo�ng Delegate Session at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on Annual Mee�ng. Pictured le� to right represen�ng their county Farm Bureaus are Nathan Nelson – Pine County, Bob Fritz – Pipestone County and Benne� Osmonson – East Pol�.


Farm Bureau Sets Focus Areas for 2017


oting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 98th Annual meeting adopted policy positions for 2017. Based on these actions, the MFBF Board of Directors have provided focus for the organization on public policy, image and leadership including food, health insurance, water, transportation and taxes.

n�Health Insurance The affordability and availability of health insurance is a significant concern for Minnesota farm families and small businesses. MFBF will work towards finding solutions addressing both increases in premiums and lack of availability to individual health insurance options.

n�Transportation MFBF will continue efforts to address Minnesota transportation infrastructure needs, especially rural roads and bridges. It is critical that products are able to be moved efficiently by river, rail and road.

n�Taxes MFBF will continue efforts to work on n�Food n�Water education funding issues especially as it Minnesota farmers and ranchers are Water quality and quantity are top priorities relates to improvements or construction of committed to providing access to sustainable, for Minnesota farm families. Conservation school buildings. MFBF will partner with safe, healthy food choices. Farmers work to practices need to be based on realistic county Farm Bureaus to make members continuously improve production methods, consideration of variability of options aware of how expenses of local governments techniques and technologies. Farmers including agronomic, economic impacts and translate to property tax loads. County Farm demonstrate their commitment to care for proactive solutions. Agriculture’s role in Bureaus will be encouraged to work with their livestock, manage and improve the improving water quality can best be fulfilled their local governments and school boards to quality of their environment and enhance the through voluntary site-specific actions at the maintain responsible spending limits. MFBF quality and accessibility of food and fiber local level. remains committed to working on solutions they produce utilizing different production that will address the range of issues methods. associated with escalating property taxes. 98th

Annual Meeting

PREVIEW More inside!

THE MINNESOTA FARM BUREAU FOUNDATION celebrated 30 years since it was founded in 1986. The Founda�on�s mission is to provide opportuni�es for supporters of agriculture to invest in people and programs focused on suppor�ng ac�ve farmers and agriculturalists, be�er connec�ng agriculture to consumers and serving rural communi�es.


MANY SPECIAL GUESTS a�ended this year�s annual mee�ng. Pictured are 63rd Princess Kay Haley Hinrichs, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Na�onal FFA Central Region Vice President Valerie Earley.

Page 14A


JOHN KRIESEL DELIVERED an inspiring message to Farm Bureau members during the 98th Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on Annual Mee�ng. A�er losing his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq, Kriesel con�nues to tell his story of overcoming extraordinary challenges and emerging stronger and more in love with life.


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


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Farm Bureau vo�ng delegates reelect Glessing County voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 98th Annual Meeting re-elected Dan Glessing to a two-year term as Vice-President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. The election was held November 18 during the delegate session in Bloomington. Glessing and his wife, Seena, farm in partnership with his father near Waverly in Wright County. They have dairy cattle and grow alfalfa, corn and soybeans. Dan and Seena have three sons and one daughter. “I am honored and humbled to serve as vice president,” said MFBF Vice President Dan Glessing. “One of Farm Bureau’s greatest strengths is our grassroots structure and policy development process which is well respected amongst our elected and appointed officials. We will continue to strengthen our relationships with our officials so they come to us when they have a question about agriculture. Our Young Farmers and Ranchers and Promotion and Education programs will continue to engage consumers in conversations to increase the understanding of today’s farming.”

GLESSING TO 3A } “Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing.” —Socrates


MFBF BOARD OF DIRECTORS Officers President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kevin Paap Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Glessing Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Radatz Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Johnson Board Members District I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Allen District II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BobRoelofs District III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carolyn Olson District IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nathan Collins District V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fran Miron District VI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miles Kuschel District VII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Gunderson State Promotion & Education Committee Chair. . . . . . . . . . . . Debra Durheim State Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Chair. . . . . . . . . . . Pam Uhlenkamp 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 Michele DeGeest, Administrative Assistant. . . . . . . . 651-768-2151

Care, Commitment and Thanks President’s Voice KEVIN PAAP • MFBF PRESIDENT After having the coldest December day in the last 20 years, I think that we can all agree that our Minnesota winter has arrived! Sleet, snow, wind and cold temperatures affect everyone’s travel, but it also has an impact on our farms and ranches. Caring for our Animals Ethical animal care is always a priority for Minnesota farmers and ranchers, but many Minnesota consumers do not realize the extra effort and care it takes during electrical outages, closed roads, wide temperature changes, blizzards or record low temperatures to keep our animals safe, healthy and disease-free. A special thank you to those who care for the animals this time of year. Resolution Process As your state president, I have the opportunity to serve on the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)

Resolutions Committee. To some our process may seem to take a long time from last summer’s county annual meetings. But we are truly a grassroots organization that is committed to honoring the democratic process at the county, state and national level. Remember it takes time to develop sound, solid Farm Bureau policy. Thank You Farm Bureau members sincerely thank those in the military and their families for the sacrifice they make to protect our freedom. I am confident every member knows that freedom is not free, it is paid for by the blood of our service men and women. Please make and take the time this holiday season to thank those men and women and their families for fighting for this great country and keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Julie and I wish each and every one of you a safe and blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas.

Public Relations Kristin (Campbell) Harner, Director . 651-768-2118 Megan Ternquist, Assistant . . . . . 651-768-2117 Organization Development James Dodds, North Region . . . . 218-556-4667 Michael Knight, Southeast Region 515-313-1538 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, Administrative Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2114 Finance Dave Johnson, Director of Operations. . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2101 Lori Wiegand, Accounting Associate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2102 Public Policy Amber Hanson, Director . . . . . . . 651-768-2103 Cole Rupprecht, Associate Director . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2107 Judy Pilcher, Administrative Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2114

The Voice of Agriculture® (ISSN: 1529-1669) Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation 2016© Published January, March, May, July, September, November by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, 3080 Eagandale Place, PO Box 64370, St. Paul, MN 55164. “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: Megan Ternquist 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: 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.

Farmers United in Our Resolve for Reform in 2017 Beyond the Fencerows ZIPPY DUVALL • AFBF PRESIDENT As I look back on 2016, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside you and serve as your American Farm Bureau president. I am proud of the work our nation’s farmers and ranchers do, day in and day out. I am equally proud of how our state and national Farm Bureau staff work just as tirelessly to ensure farmers and ranchers can continue to feed and fuel our country and the world for generations to come. When I addressed you for the first time as your American Farm Bureau president in Orlando last January, I committed to working with you all to solve the problems facing agriculture—and that’s just what we’re doing. This year, I’ve had the privilege of visiting 33 states—and counting—across our great country to meet with Farm Bureau members face-to-face. Each region, every state and all types of agriculture have unique challenges. I have been heartened by one common thread; a reminder of just how critical the reforms Farm Bureau is fighting for are to rural families and farm businesses. Looking ahead to 2017, we see a clear need for regulatory and tax reform that frees farmers and ranchers to keep their businesses running and gives them flexibility to invest in their local economies. We need to put a stop to regulatory overreach that threatens to put a choke hold on farmers. We need greater access to markets around the world and a stable, legal workforce to ensure we continue leading the world in agricultural production. But none of these reforms will happen if we don’t unite around the table and speak up.

As I’ve traveled our great country, I’ve been reminded time and again of how much we can accomplish when we learn from our differences and work together. America’s farmers and ranchers aren’t defined by our struggles. We’re defined by what we do best: we lead and feed and fuel the world. We didn’t take up the work of farming and ranching because we expected it to be easy. While agriculture is our business, it is also our calling. We are called to take up this work out of love for our family and our neighbors. It’s a mission we take seriously, because we believe we’ve been given a unique task to care for the land and animals entrusted to us by our Creator. We have a responsibility to consumers as we grow the highest quality food, fiber and fuel while protecting our precious natural resources. We must continue to earn consumer trust as we strive for continuous improvement in everything we do. The great story of American agriculture is one of hard work, ingenuity and passion, and it’s a story best told by the folks who live it. Farmers and ranchers made their voices heard in 2016, but we need to keep telling our stories if we want to be at the heart of shaping the policies that will impact our businesses and way of life. The close of one year ushers in new goals for the next, and I am confident that working together through Farm Bureau offers us that common platform for progress. During this new year, I will continue to learn about your challenges and your triumphs, and like 2016, I look forward to hearing many of your stories face-to-face.

Farm Bureau flag photo

Prairie Grains Conference THE 2016 PRAIRIE Grains Conference was held December 7 and 8 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on (MFBF) was a partner of the conference.

Photo by Riley Maanum


Elected and Appointed Officials Address Farm Bureau Members Farm Bureau members from Minnesota had the honor of hearing from distinguished guests at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting November 1719. “We were very pleased to have a number of elected and appointed officials join us at Minnesota Farm Bureau’s 98th Annual Meeting,” said MFBF President Kevin Paap. “Farm Bureau members appreciate the opportunity to connect with them, and to gain a better understanding of the issues they are working to address on our behalf.” Senator Klobuchar addressed members at Friday evening’s banquet providing Farm

Bureau members with a preview of the upcoming Congress highlighting the upcoming farm bill discussions, Renewable Fuels Standard, delisting wolves and expanding opportunities with Cuba. Congressman Peterson addressed members on Saturday highlighting the importance of starting the farm bill discussions early on and the need to reign in regulations. Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith addressed members during the Saturday Luncheon recognizing the impact of health insurance on rural Minnesota and the importance of expanding market opportunities for agriculture. Numerous state legislators

attended Friday evenings activities. Also attending Friday evening functions were Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Dave Frederickson, MDA Assistant Commissioner Andrea Vaubel, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer, USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Grant Herfindahl and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) State Conservationist Cathee Pullman.


“One of Farm Bureau’s greatest strengths is our grassroots structure and policy development process ...” —Dan Glessing

Re-elected to a three-year term were Bob Roelofs from Garden City in Blue Earth County representing District II, and Fran Miron of Hugo in WashingtonRamsey County representing District V. Elected to the board of directors serving one-year terms were Promotion & Education Committee chair Debra Durheim from Long Prairie in Todd County and Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee chair Pam Uhlenkamp from Green Isle in Sibley County.

2017 Day On The Hill

Farm Bureau members are encouraged to participate in the 2017 Farm Bureau Day on the Hill activities. Day on the Hill is an excellent opportunity for county Farm Bureau members to be briefed on current issues being considered at the state Capitol, to lobby legislators, witness legislative committees in action and possibly view a House or Senate oor session.

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Days on the Hill February 14 West Central Area

Tuesday, March 16 Northwest Area

Tuesday, March 7 Southwest, East Central and South Central Areas

Tuesday, March 28 North and Southeast Areas

If you are unable to attend the day your district is assigned, you are encouraged to attend with other districts. Visit or contact your area program director (see page 2A) or your county Farm Bureau ofce for more information.

JACKSON FRIDLEY CHOPPER CITY SPORTS, INC. JACKSON SPORTS 888-299-8151 763-572-2100 Warning: The Polaris RZR® can be hazardous to operate and is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol / drugs don’t mix. All drivers should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails. Polaris Industries Inc.


FARM BUREAU NEWS NOTES n�Food Awareness Month Food Awareness events will be held in February and March. Counties are encouraged to center their events around the topic of food - food availability, how farmers care about growing healthy food, giving to the food shelf, etc. Events can be held throughout either or both months. Counties working with local food shelves are encouraged to see when the best time is to donate. Promotional pieces will be available for counties at the MFBF Leadership Conference at the beginning of February and will be inserted in the March issue of The Voice of Agriculture. To order additional copies, contact Megan Ternquist at or 651-768-2117. n�Bulletin Board Contest The MFBF Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee is coordinating a Bulletin Board Contest for teachers across Minnesota. Teachers that participate will have the opportunity to win a “Farm a Month” book bundle. If you know a teacher who may be interested, please share this contest with them. You may also find the contest information by visiting Contact Ruth Meirick, Director, with questions at 651-7682115 or n�Children’s Agricultural Literature Book Bundles Available Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is proud to announce the addition of new K-2nd and 3rd-5th grade agriculture-themed children’s literature book bundles to their program offering. Each 10-book bundle comes with an educator guide. In addition, each is affordably priced at $100, plus tax, and $10 for shipping and handling. For more information, or to order, contact Finney Company at 952-4696699 or Learn more about these book bundles at book.cfm. n�YF&R Contests Deadlines Announced There are three Leadership Development contests available for Young Farmers & Ranchers (Farm Bureau members ages 18-35) to participate in. The following deadlines are for the 2017 contests: Discussion Meet Application: January 20

FFA Discussion Meet: Check with FFA Advisors for regional FFA competitions Achievement Award Application: September 30 Excellence in Agriculture Application: September 30 For more information on these contests go to n�Complete Green Star Farms Self-Evaluation Help prevent duplicate and overburdensome regulations. MFBF has been advocating on your behalf, but we need your help. The simplest, fastest and safest way for you to help is by joining the growing number of farms who have completed the Green Star Farms self-evaluation. It takes 20 minutes, and it’s fast, easy and completely confidential. Only the aggregate data will be used for public information. Take the Green Star Farms initiative self-evaluation today at n�Farmers to Washington D.C. The 2017 Farmers to Washington D.C. trip will be September 12-16. This is your opportunity to see Farm Bureau in action and take agriculture’s message to Washington D.C. Join other Farm Bureau members as we discuss issues with federal decision makers. This trip offers you the opportunity to have an impact on public policy, represent your fellow farmers on a national level and see historic Washington D.C. For more information, contact Amber Hanson at or 651-763-2103 n�Public Policy App Farm Bureau members benefit from the free FBAct|Farm Bureau Advocacy App, available for download from the Apple and Android stores. Features include: AFBF Take Action Center Talking points on Farm Bureau priority issues Social media sharing tools Access to advocacy videos Interactive Congressional directory Integrated feedback form Live updates from the AFBF’s (@FarmBureau) Twitter feed. Download the app today! n�Text Message Alerts Sign up to receive action alerts from the MFBF Public Policy Team via text message. By subscribing, you agree to receive periodic SMS messages. Data

rates may apply. For more information, contact Amber Hanson at or 651-763-2103. n�Ag Transportation Handbook This book contains state and federal statutes, rules and exemptions for transporting agricultural goods on highways. To order your own free copy, contact with your name, address and quantity of copies requested. The most recent printing was in 2015. n�Speak for Yourself Presentations Do you have any leads for audiences to hear Speak for Yourself presentations? Do you know someone: In a service organization (Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc.)? In a moms or MOPS group? Who is a Family and Consumer Science (FACS) or agriculture teacher? At a food manufacturing company? In other groups that would be interested in or benefit from hearing from a farmer? Your workplace during an educational hour? If you have any type of lead, have them contact Barbara Dodson, Speak for Yourself scheduler at 800-7110747, ext. 222 or n�Nutrient Management and Nitrogen Conferences Scheduled The ninth annual Nutrient Management Conference will be held February 7, 2017 at the River’s Edge Conference Center in St. Cloud. The third annual Nitrogen: Minnesota’s Grand Challenge and Compelling Opportunity Conference will be held on February 16, 2017 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato. As in previous years, attendees will hear the latest in nutrient research from Minnesota and across the country. Both events are organized by a team consisting of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC), University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The MDA is also the primary sponsor of both events. Learn more at email or call, 507-251-9101.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS n�January 8-11, 2017 AFBF Annual Meeting Phoenix, AZ

n�February 3-4, 2017 MFBF Leadership Conference Bemidji

n�March 16, 2017 Day on the Hill Northwest Area

n�January 13, 2017 MFBF Leadership Conference Registration Deadline

n�February 10-13, 2017 AFBF Leadership Conference Pittsburgh, PA

n�March 28, 2017 Day on the Hill North and Southeast Areas

n�January 20, 2017 Discussion Meet Application Deadline

n�February 14, 2017 Day on the Hill West Central Area

n�March 29, 2017 MFBF Board Meeting

n�January 24, 2017 Council of County Presidents St. Paul

n�February 27-March 3, 2017 ABFB Advocacy Conference Washington D.C.

n�February 3, 2017 MFBF Board Meeting

n�March 7, 2017 Day on the Hill Southwest, East Central and South Central Areas

n�April 14, 2017 MFBF Office Closed n�May 24, 2017 MFBF Board Meeting n�May 29, 2017 MFBF Office Closed n�June 27, 2017 MFB Foundation Golf Scramble

ver! discoMINNESOTA n�Ice Castles January 1 – March 1 Stillwater Experience the frozen spectacle everyone is talking about. Imagine a magical collision of ice caves, frozen waterfalls and glaciers–formed into towering archways, caverns and tunnels ready to be explored. By day this frozen wonderland glimmers with glacial blues, and after dark the ice formations glow multi-colored hues. n�Back to Hack Winter Festival January 13-15 Hackensack Back to Hack celebrates winter with activities including Frostbite your Fanny 5K Race, Paul Bunyan Family Fishing Contest, Penguin Plunge, Snow Sculpting Contest, Community Bonfire and Fireworks. Returning this year will be Horse Racing, Silent Auction and Sleigh of Spirits Raffle. Come join the winter fun! n�Saint Paul Winter Carnival January 26 – February 5 Saint Paul The 131st Saint Paul Winter Carnival, the “Coolest Celebration on Earth™” has been around since 1886! It continues to bring family-friendly events and community pride to Saint Paul and the Twin Cities metro area. The Saint Paul Heritage and Festival Foundation manages and produces the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. n�Becoming an Outdoors Woman Winter Workshop January 27-29 Sandstone The Becoming an Outdoors Woman program offers women an opportunity to learn outdoors skills in a supportive, nonintimidating environment. Costs include lodging, food and all instruction. This program is part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Contact Linda Bylanader at 218-203-4347 for more information. n�John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon January 29 – February 1 Duluth Established in 1980, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. Every year, world-class mushers compete in the nearly 400-mile event. The Beargrease is a qualifier for the famed Iditarod race in Alaska. n�International Eelpout Festival February 23-26 Walker For the past 30 years, and for three days every February, crowds that are more than 10 times the population of tiny Walker (pop. 1,069) gather on Minnesota’s third largest lake (112,000-acres), Leech Lake, for a festival named for one of the ugliest bottom-dwelling fish, the eelpout. In a state where it is common to embrace the quirky and find great fun in the most unlikely circumstances and weather conditions, this festival is pure Minnesota fun. n�Grumpy Old Men Festival February 25 Wabasha Ice fishing contest, ice shacks n’ Plaid Parade, cribbage tournament, bingo, minnow races, Annual Grumpy Plunge and more. Fishing contest is $5 for adults and $3 for children. For more information on these and other events, log onto Submit your community event by emailing or fax 651-768-2159.


AGRI-BYTES National 4-H Council, AFBF Establish Partnership Leaders of National 4-H Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) recently announced a newly established partnership during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two groups. Recognizing the need to support agricultural education and highlight the impact ag plays in our daily lives, National 4-H Council and AFBF aim to ignite the desire of young people to embrace agriculture, cultivate innovation and empower them with opportunities to improve the world around them. Through collaboration on thought leadership and ag literacy initiatives, both organizations are committed to better link young people to agriculture of today and tomorrow. “For more than a century, 4-H has provided young people with opportunities to spark and grow their interests in agriculture, giving them the courage, confidence and resilience to lead,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “National 4-H Council is proud and excited to join forces with the American Farm Bureau Federation to help empower and develop young people with the workforce skills necessary to pursue careers in the agriculture.” The Council-AFBF partnership will formally kick off in 2017. “Farm Bureau has a long history of investing in young people with a demonstrated interest in not only farming and ranching but also agri-business and food-related careers,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We’re pleased to build on our tradition of supporting youth in agriculture through this formal collaboration with National 4-H Council.”


How Do Christmas Trees Grow? “How Do Christmas Trees Grow?” is a new American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture blog post featuring insights from Ben Butler of Butler's Orchard in Germantown, Maryland. Butler explains how Christmas trees grow and more, including tips on selecting among different varieties. Farm Bureau Leader Honored as AGCO Operator of the Year AGCO recently recognized top professional agriculture applicators for the 11th year in a row. Tony Kornder of Genesis Grower Solutions in LeSueur, Minnesota, was honored as the 2016 AGCO Operator of the Year. A Farm Bureau member in Minnesota, Kornder serves as president of Scott County Farm Bureau. He has 19 years of experience as an applicator and works on about 35,000 acres each year.

The following tips are provided by the University of Minnesota Extension Service Yard & Garden line. For information on gardening, insects and diseases in the home landscape visit Look through this year’s seed catalogs to choose new flower cultivars to start indoors this winter. Most won’t need to be sown until mid-March, but begonias, coleus, geraniums, heliotrope, violas and pansies should be planted February 15. Grow them under fluorescent lights until it’s warm enough to move them to large containers outdoors or transplant them to your garden.

whenever the soil surface feels dry. Fertilize 1/2 strength every four to six weeks. They’ll stay attractive for months. Keep a pitcher of room temperature water ready for watering houseplants. Tap water is usually fine. The amount of chlorine it contains is negligible; most plants aren’t bothered by the fluorine, either. Unlike most tropical plants, desert cacti can withstand cold (not freezing) night temperatures. Put them right next to a sunny window, but don’t worry about chilling. The cold night temperatures might even encourage spring blooming.

Keep poinsettias healthy by placing them in a sunny window and watering them thoroughly

Make a point of washing houseplants regularly including the undersides of leaves. Avoid using leaf shine products. They cause leaves to reflect light at a time when they need to absorb as much light as possible.

Super sure you have the right insurance in place? .

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New Ag Mag: 9 Agricultural Career Pathways 9 Agricultural Career Pathways, the latest Ag Mag produced by the American Farm Bureau Foundation, is available to order. The magazine-style reader was created with 3rd to 5th grade students in mind and explores agricultural careers.

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November 18, 2016

2016 Management Report to the Voting Delegates CHRIS RADATZ Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on Exe�u��e Dire�tor

“Membership is the lifeblood of our organization.”


t is my pleasure and honor to be with you today and present the management report at the 98th Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting Voting Delegate session. I would like to recognize and acknowledge the efforts, dedication, hard work of the MFBF staff: Administration Team – Kim Oakes, executive assistant, 30 years; Dave Johnson, director of operations, chief financial officer, 4 years; Lori Wiegand, accounting associate, 12 years; Organization Team – area program directors: Michael Knight, southeast region, 1 month; James Dodds, north region, 16 years; DelRay Johnson, west central region, 26 years; Riley Maanum, northwest region, 4 years; Amanda Revier, southwest region, 11 years; Dennis Sabel, east central region, 31 years; Yvonne Simon, south central region, 4 years; Judy Pilcher, administrative assistant, providing Organization and Public Policy Team support, 19 years; Public Policy Team – Amber Hanson, director, 4 years; Cole Rupprecht, associate director, 2 months; Public Relations Team – Kristin Harner, director, 15 years; Megan Ternquist, public relations assistant, 2 months; Foundation, Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) and Promotion & Education (P&E) state committees – Ruth Meirick, director, 19 years; Michelle DeGeest, administrative assistant, providing Foundation and YF&R and P&E support, 3 years. Their passion for Farm Bureau and all of Minnesota agriculture certainly shows. I am proud to be able to work with them! Membership Membership is the lifeblood of our organization. I would like share some highlights of the 2016 membership year: • 2016 year-end total statewide membership – 29,810 – gain of 448 • Sixth consecutive year of statewide membership growth • 56 members of the 2016 Producers Club – two more than last year We had a great year in 2016, but we were close to a fantastic year. We missed reaching AFBF’s Navigator Award for the third in a row by only 246 members and a third delegate to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Annual Meeting by only 191 members. 30,001 is the number to reach for the third AFBF voting delegate, and that is a major goal for 2017. Early membership recruitment and retention work pays off. When you get home, review the unpaid member list in your county. This needs to be done on a regular basis, monthly if possible. Start asking those members to renew as soon as their membership has lapsed. Develop a prospect list for new member signup. Review your membership list to make sure all members are properly classified as voting or associate. The county Farm Bureau membership incentive remains the same as last year. $500 if your county attains a growth of five or more voting members. $500 for an increase of 4 percent or more in total membership. Counties can qualify for both incentive payments. We scored a touchdown with our Producer’s

Club recognition event! Look for more fun and excitement next year. We will have a drawing for a special prize for all those who qualify for “First in the Field” by signing five new members by May 5, 2017. Policy Let’s look back at some of the Farm Bureau achievements during the last year. On the policy front, we had some very positive developments. • A major Farm Bureau initiative to provide property tax relief to Minnesota farmers and ranchers passed the Minnesota House and Senate on a strong bi-partisan vote. Unfortunately, the tax bill containing a property tax credit for farmers on school debt bond levies was pocket vetoed by the Governor. • MFBF’s supported clarifications to Minnesota’s buffer requirements were passed and signed into law. • The U.S. General Accounting Office rendered a legal opinion that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law with its social media and grassroots lobbying campaign advocating for its own Waters of the U.S. rule. • A national GMO labeling law passed Congress and was signed by the President. • AFBF filed a lawsuit to stop EPA from compiling and publically releasing farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information. The eighth Circuit Court unanimously ruled in AFBF’s favor. • President Paap testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee in support of passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and urged for successful completion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade negotiations. Programming and Activities On the program and activity front, we start with last year’s MFBF annual meeting. • 24 volunteer leaders participated in an Ag in the Classroom event at two elementary schools in Bloomington. 25 volunteer leaders packed over 13,000 pounds of apples and squash for food shelves served by Second Harvest Heartland. • Four regional Collegiate Discussions Meet were held in Minnesota prior to last year’s annual meeting, and the top two contestants represented us at the AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet in Kansas City. • MFBF was well represented again at the AFBF Annual Convention. One of the many highlights was having the winner of the AFBF Awards of Excellence contest come from our great state. • 2016 marked the 30th year of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation. County Farm Bureaus generously showed their support for our Foundation by donating over $9,000 to the County Farm Bureau Board Challenge. • Leadership Conference was a success with over 250 attendees. Along with networking and leadership development opportunities, participants stepped to the plate by packing 10,800 meals for Volunteer Enlisted to Assist People. Over $1,700 was raised for the

Minneapolis Recreational Development Incorporated project “Love One Another.” • Several of our leaders are serving on AFBF Issue Advisory Committees and along with other members participated in the AFBF Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C. MFBF is represented on the AFBF P&E Committee and have been represented on the AFBF YF&R Committee for the past two years. • Our Council of County Presidents meeting attracted 110 leaders from 58 county and regional Farm Bureaus. In-depth discussions were held on policy and organizational issues. • Many county Farm Bureaus participated in Food Awareness Month activities across the state. Eleven county Farm Bureaus in the Red River Valley donated over $3,400 which was matched on a dollar for dollar basis to the North Country Food Bank. 34,000 meals were provided for people in the Red River Valley with this donation. • Farm Bureau had a major presence at the state FFA convention with volunteer leaders and staff assisting as contest judges, hosting the regional and state FFA Discussion Meets, sponsoring the Extemporaneous Speaking award and mentoring the communications and media outreach efforts during the convention. • We had the unique opportunity to host 2016 Miss America Betty Cantrell for a day as she toured Minnesota farms and presented her “First Peas to the Table” contest at a Minnesota school. • County Farm Bureaus again showed their strong support in reaching out to thousands of consumers across the state by conducting numerous Breakfast on the Farm or similar events. • Nearly $14,000 was raised during the Foundation Golf event. A new Foundation activity, the Sporting Clays Tournament raised over $3,000. • County fair season finds virtually every county Farm Bureau with a visible presence at their local fairs and increased support for 4-H and educational activities. More than 130 Century Farms and 23 Sesquicentennial Farms were recognized during 2016, many of them at county fairs. • Over 300 farmers attended Red River Valley Agricultural Water Issues forums. • Farmfest and the Farm Bureau pork chop stand continued to be a huge hit and a must stop for state and national policy makers. All Farm Families of the Year recognized at Farmfest received complimentary pork chops. • The Minnesota State Fair attracted record crowds in 2016. The same held true for the Farm Bureau State Fair Building. Thousands of state fair goers “Met a Farmer” and learned firsthand what Minnesota farmers and ranchers are doing every day to meet the growing consumer demand for food, fuel and fiber. • Sixty-three farmer leaders have been through the “Speak for Yourself” public relations outreach education program. They have addressed more than 450 community organizations including local civic organizations, doctors, church groups, agribusinesses, school boards and high school classrooms.


JANUARY 2017 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • • 7A t MANAGEMENT REPORT FROM 6A • Thirteen county Farm Bureaus will be recognized for a program and/or activity that they implemented during the year as part of our county Activities of Excellence program. We received 97 entries across all membership categories. All applications showed quality and innovative thinking in highlighting county Farm Bureau activities and programs. • MFBF will be recognized at the AFBF annual meeting for outstanding programs and activities in all six AFBF Awards of Excellence category areas for the fourth consecutive year. Our success in this peer-judged program would not be possible without all the hard work and great programs and activities conducted by the county and regional Farm Bureaus represented in this room today.

FBFS The partnership we have with Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) has never been stronger in my opinion. The FBFS Insurance Agency Force is growing and additional resources are available to support the activity of that Agency Force. As our largest member beneďŹ t partner, FBFS, continues to be a market leader in insuring agriculture property in Minnesota and the nation. They oer a full line of ďŹ nancial services products from insuring property and lives to estate and retirement planning. In Closing Copies of the 2016 MFBF and MFB Foundation annual reviews are available for your use and distribution by contacting your area program director

or at Matt Rush at last year’s annual meeting asked if our organization was Viable, Valuable and Visible. I say without a doubt we are. Can we do more, yes. We have a strong foundation in place, we have a dedicated team of sta and volunteers. 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 level. We look forward to working with all of you to make 2017 an even bigger success than 2016.


Annual Meeting AWARDS

Collegiate Discussion Meet

Distinguished Service to Agriculture – Dr. Bill Hartmann

Distinguished Service to Agriculture – William Nelson

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO Agriculture award recipients are selected for their dis�nguished service to the organi�a�on, community and agriculture. This year’s recipients were Dr. Bill Hartmann and William Nelson.

THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Federaďż˝on held their ��th annual Collegiate Discussion Meet at the 98th MFBF Annual Meeďż˝ng on November ďż˝9. Undergraduate students ďż˝ualiďŹ ed at regional compe��ons held at South Central College – Mankato, Southwest Minnesota State University – Marshall, Ridgewater College – Willmar, University of Minnesota - Crookston and University of Minnesota – Twin Ciďż˝es. Jakob Hicks from Redwood County aďż˝ending Southwest Minnesota State University won the compe��on receiving a ���� scholarship from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundaďż˝on. Johanna Knorr from West Oďż˝er Tail County aďż˝ending the University of Minnesota – Twin Ciďż˝es was the runner-up receiving a ���� scholarship from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundaďż˝on. Both Hicks and Knorr will advance to the American Farm Bureau Federaďż˝on’s naďż˝onal Collegiate Discussion Meet compe��on in Piďż˝sburgh, Pennsylvania February ��-��. Thank you to contest sponsors Christensen Farms and Gislason & Hunter. Pictured are the ďŹ nal four contestants, leďż˝ to right, are Jakob Hicks, A.J. Quade, Trent Dado and Johanna Knorr.




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Annual Meeting AWARDS Paul Stark Memorial Scholarship THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Founda�on presented two $500 Paul Stark Memorial Scholarships to college freshmen or sophomores. This year’s recipients were Andrew Gathje – Olmsted County (not pictured) and Abbey Weninger – Wright County.

Ag Communicator of the Year Jerry Groskreutz

Al Christopherson Scholarship EACH YEAR THE Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on presents deserving students from Farm Bureau families with a $500 Al Christopherson Scholarship. Recipients are college juniors or seniors or in their final year of college. This year’s recipients were Megan Stevens – Chippewa County, Mariah Daninger – Washington-Ramsey County, Ethan Dado – Blue Earth County, and Rebekah Aanerud – Stevens County.

Extension Educator of the Year Troy Salzer

FFA Advisor of the Year Nathan Purrington

Post-Secondary Educator of the Year Jennifer Smith

THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Founda�on recogni�ed and awarded outstanding agricultural professionals during the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s Annual Mee�ng. Awarded Ag Communicator of the Year—Jerry Groskreut�, E�tension Educator of the Year—Troy Sal�er, FFA Advisor of the Year—Nathan Purrington and Post-Secondary Educator of the Year—Jennifer Smith.

Honorary Life Members

HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP is presented to honorees selected for their dis�nguished service to Farm Bureau, their community and agriculture.

George and Rozetta Hallcock Dakota County

Burton Horsch Wright County

Harley and Joan Vogel Brown County

JANUARY 2017 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • • 9A Young Farmers & Ranchers Awards

THE 2016 EXCELLENCE in Agriculture Award winner was Brad and Jenna Davis of Wright County. Brad farms together with his dad and younger brothers raising dairy cows and crops. Jenna is employed off the farm as an animal nutri�onist.

Builders Club Recognition The Elite Builders Club recognizes Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) agents who have signed 60 or more new members during 2015. This year’s Elite Builders Club include, left to right, Paul Chapman, Misty Servaty, Duane Kriener, Suemaya Azadi, Bruce Vanderpool and Kevin Christoffers. Not pictured: Daniel Pumper, Zach Gerdes, Monte Dufault and Justin Mundt.


Annual Meeting AWARDS

THE 2016 DISCUSSION Meet winner is Corey Ramsden of Washington-Ramsey County. She is a business manager for Land O’ Lakes Inc., Winfield and Purina. Other finalists in the Discussion Meet pictured le� to right ne�t to Ramsden, Joe Sullivan – Renville County, Jared Luhman – Goodhue County and Ka�e Schmi� – Benton�Mille Lacs County.

Don’t roll the dice with car repairs. Retiring Board Members PETE HENSLIN OF Dodge County and Mark Maiers of Renville County were recognized as re�ring Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on �MFBF� board members at the MFBF Annual Mee�ng in Bloomington on November 18.

Will you be in Phoenix during the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting January 6-11? Join us at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s breakfast on Saturday, January 7 at 7 a.m. at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Cityscape. Register today - $45 per person by contacting Kim Oakes at or 651-768-2111.

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Annual Meeting AWARDS

Golden Plow Recognition CONTINUING GOLDEN PLOW members were recognized at the Producers Club banquet at the 2016 MFBF Annual Mee�ng. Golden Plow members have signed 100 new members in 10 years. Con�nuing Golden Plow members pictured le� to right, John Gilbertson, Sr. – Beltrami County, Bob Fritz – Pipestone County, Kevin Paap – Blue Earth County, Joyce Welander – Washington-Ramsey County and Sco� Winslow – Fillmore County, far right. Ron Nelson, second from right, was also recognized with the Con�nuing Diamond Award for signing 250 members in 10 years.

Breakout Sessions AS PART OF the 98th MFBF Annual Mee�ng, par�cipants a�ended a session on �Strategic Communica�ons in a Social Media World” presented by Mace Thornton of the American Farm Bureau Federa�on. Other breakout sessions included �Elec�on Update and Legisla�ve Preview” and �Property Ta�es 101.”

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THE ANNUAL MINNESOTA Farm Bureau (MFB) Founda�on live auc�on was held following the awards banquet at the MFBF Annual Mee�ng. County Farm Bureaus and leaders donated items to be auc�oned o� as a fundraiser for agricultural educa�on, safety educa�on, leadership development programs and the My American Farm Imagina�on Sta�ons. Pictured are Heather Aanerud – Stevens County, Sheila Hemming – Stevens County, Nada Carter – Pope County, TaLana Mathiowetz – Redwood County and Didi Edwards – Nobles County assis�ng with the night�s ac�vi�es. The auc�on raised over $15,000 this year. Thank you to all who donate �me and items to ensure the success of this MFB Founda�on fundraiser.







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County Activities of Excellence THE COUNTY ACTIVITIES of Excellence is the most pres�gious of all county Minnesota Farm Bureau awards, recognizing excellence in public policy, public rela�ons, promo�on and educa�on, leadership development and membership ini�a�ves through county ac�vi�es. In the county membership group of 25-200 total members, the award was presented to Cass County for public rela�ons, Aitkin/Carlton County for promo�on � educa�on and Mahnomen County for public policy, leadership development and membership ac�vity. In the county membership group of 201-450 total members, the award was presented to Anoka County for promo�on � educa�on, Douglas County for membership ac�vity, LeSueur County

for public rela�ons, Stevens County for public policy and Traverse County for leadership development. In the county membership group of over 450 total members, the award was presented to Brown County for promo�on � educa�on, Houston County for public policy, Meeker County for public rela�ons, Olmsted County for leadership development and Wright County for membership ac�vity. Accep�ng the awards were Doug Lawrence – Anoka County, Jonathan Guentzel – LeSueur County, Andy Aanerud – Stevens County, John Chute – Aitkin/Carlton County, Mike Sams – Cass County and David Sogge – Mahnomen County, Kevin Dahlman – Wright County, Ron Pagel – Olmsted County, Greg Bartz – Brown County, Ma� Johnson – Meeker County, Steve Fruechte – Houston County, Vern Hedlin – Douglas County and Larry Raguse – Traverse County.


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Annual Meeting AWARDS

Minnesota Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom FARM BUREAU MEMBERS a�ending the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on (MFBF) Annual Mee�ng �ovember ����� in Bloomington par�cipated in Agriculture in the Classroom ac�vi�es at a local elementary school. The MFBF Promo�on and Educa�on Commi�ee in conjunc�on with the MFBF �oung Farmers and Ranchers Commi�ee and county Farm Bureau leaders worked with third and ��h graders in Poplar Bridge Elementary in Bloomington. The 25 leaders read “Dirt – The Scoop on Soil” and “Jump into Science – Dirt” and conducted ac�vi�es to help students gain a be�er understanding of agriculture. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on sponsored classroom book dona�ons for the project.



Foundation Donors SUPPORTERS OF THE Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Founda�on at the Benefactor�s Society level received recogni�on at MFB�s ��th Annual Mee�ng on �ovember �� in Bloomington. Pictured le� to right are Adam Birr – Minnesota Corn Growers Associa�on� Ma� Dahlke – United FCS� Rochelle Krusemark – Minnesota Soybean Research & Promo�on Council� Je� Pagel – Minnesota Beef Council and Kris Rowe – Farm Bureau Financial Services.





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Service Project FARM BUREAU MEMBERS from across Minnesota gathered for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on (MFBF) Annual Mee�ng held �ovember ���20 in Bloomington. During the mee�ng� a�endees conducted a service project for Allan Law and the Love One Another program with 35 volunteers making nearly 500 sandwiches. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on also donated ����00 to the Love One Another program. The funds were raised during the Promo�on and Educa�on and �oung Farmers and Ranchers Commi�ees� MFBF Leadership Conference this past January. Thank you to the following companies that supported this service ac�vity with the Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on through dona�on of product� Bongards Creameries� Hormel Foods �nc. and Kwik Trip.



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PROMOTION & EDUCATION Not a day goes by that we are not educating and engaging in a conversation with someone about our farm. Just the other day, someone asked me about who takes care of the animals when it is so cold. They were amazed when I told them how we bundle up, and yes we sometimes get cold. But that is the responsibility that we as farmers undertook when we decided to go into this. I get excited when I think about telling my story. Where do I start? What do I tell them? Will they comprehend what I am telling them? It is so simple for us because we, as farmers, understand most facets of farming, even when we learn something new every day. Ag in the Classroom There are many different opportunities to get involved in the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Promotion & Education (P&E) programs. One of those opportunities occurred at the MFBF Annual Meeting. Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is an important role of our committee and allows us to educate and engage children about the basics of farming. During the MFBF Annual Meeting, we visited third and fifth grade classrooms in Bloomington and conducted AITC programs. If you are new to AITC, this is a great way to learn more about it. We did this project in groups so there were several Farm Bureau members per classroom. It was great fun for all of us involved and a great way for students to meet farmers. Service Projects The MFBF P&E Committee also led a community service project during the MFBF Annual Meeting. This year, we made sandwiches for the homeless as part of an outreach program named “Love One Another.” Other years, we have worked with Second Harvest Heartland and packaged potatoes, food mixes or backpacks. Not only do we educate and engage, but we help feed others through community outreach projects. Leadership Conference I encourage fellow farmers, those working in agribusiness, retired farmers, or aspiring farmers to come to the MFBF Leadership Conference in Bemidji February 3-4, as it could be “The Start of Something Great” for you. You never know what conversations you may have, new connections you will make or what will inspire and motivate you to be an agvocate for agriculture. In Closing Thank you MFBF for the many opportunities it has given to me through my involvement with P&E. If you have an interest in P&E I encourage you to visit with me or any of our state P&E Committee members (committee listing found at It’s an opportunity you are sure to enjoy.


Share Your Story

Recognizing Stress

Hometown: Long Prairie Family: My husband Delvin and I have been married for 43 years. We have three children. Daniel and his wife Cheryl have three children Abigail, Caleb, and Savannah and reside in Fredricksburg Virginia. They will be moving to Columbus, Ohio (upon comple�on of school�. David and his wife Cindy have two children, Heather and Michael, and reside in Askov, Minnesota. DeeAnn and her husband Vincent have two children, Wade and William, and farm near Wahpeton, North Dakota. Our grandchildren are all involved in 4-H, and our children s�ll par�cipate as 4-H leaders. Farm Des�ri��on: Delvin and I are raise beef, sheep, swine and a few chickens. We also grow corn and alfalfa for our livestock. I have worked at Todd County Public Health for 27 years, and Delvin has been an independent insurance agent for 22 years. In addi�on we have been 4-H leaders for 30 plus years at the club, county, regional and state levels. Delvin and I are members of the Todd County Fair Board where I have been the fair secretary for over 15 years.

Debra and Delvin Durheim State �ommi�ee �hair

Why I got involved with P&E? Agriculture is an important part of our family, and we all need to be advocates. Five years ago, I was asked by the Todd County Farm Bureau secretary Rita Decker to a�end the Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB� Leadership Conference. This was an awesome experience. I par�cipated in a tour and a�ended many workshop sessions, leaving the conference with many new friends. Because of these experiences that I had with MFBF and conversa�ons with Nada Carter, who served on the MFBF Promo�on � �duca�on (P��� Commi�ee, I decided three years ago to apply for the commi�ee. I was selected to represent District 4 on the state P�� Commi�ee for two years. As my �me was nearing an end, I needed to decide if this was something I wanted to con�nue par�cipa�ng in or not. I decided to move forward with another opportunity and apply to be chair of the MFBF P�� Commi�ee. I am fortunate to be serving in this role for the upcoming year. Dates to Remember: AFBF Annual Mee�ng, �anuary �-11 in Phoenix; MFBF Leadership Conference, February 3-4 in Bemidji; AFBF FUSION Conference, February 10-13 in Pi�sburgh.

Most people recognize the stress that comes from low commodity prices but what about other stressors that farm families may deal with such as: • The cost of health insurance and finding a health insurance plan that has your doctor in network. • Aging (of yourself and parents) and the health challenges that come with it. • The constant changes in technology and seed/crop inputs. • Regulations regarding transportation, buffer strips, water quality, manure application, crop input application, etc. • Marketing of commodities • “Retiring” and transitioning the farm to the next generation - how do you let go? • Extreme, catastrophic weather changes. • Public opinions about how you should be running your business. • Anxiety and feeling “down-in-thedumps.” • Stigma of mental health issues and feeling like you should just be able to get over it. • Lack of adequate mental health resources for rural residents. While this list of challenges can seem daunting, there are ways to handle them. Join me at my session entitled “Swing High During Low Times” at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Leadership Conference February 4 in Bemidji. Come and learn how to accept and cope with things that you cannot control, as well as ways to better manage the things that you have some control over. By Cynthie Washburn, RN-BC, LPCC, owner of Oak Ridge Teletherapy, farmer and Farm Bureau member

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Annual Meeting AWARDS

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 56 individuals for helping grow Farm Bureau. • Donald Albrecht, McLeod County • Keith Allen, Goodhue County • Rachel Arneson, Norman County • Greg Bartz, Brown County • Ted Brenny, Goodhue County • Roseanne Caughey, Crow Wing County • Cynthie Christensen, Houston County • John Chute, Aitkin/Carlton County • Nathan Collins, Swift County • Bernie DeCock , Lyon County


• Krista Doering, Blue Earth County • Paul Dragseth, West Polk County • David Engelbrecht, Watonwan County • Bob Fritz, Pipestone County • John Gilbertson, Sr., Beltrami County • Daniel Glessing, Wright County • Melinda Groth, Fillmore County • Michael Gunderson, Mahnomen County • Gerald Heck, Big Stone County • Sheila Hemming, Stevens County • Pete Henslin, Dodge County • Jerome Holker, Big Stone County • Deb Hoseth, Mahnomen County • Shayne Isane, Northwest Regional • Dave Johnson, Rice County • Ray Johnson, Clay County • Rolland Johnson, Lincoln County

oin us at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) 2017 Leadership Conference, February 3-4. This year’s conference, “The Start of Something Great,” will be held at the Sanford Convention Center/Country Inn & Suites in Bemidji. Leadership Conference is designed to raise awareness of agriculture issues, provide advocacy tools and enhance networks, leadership skills and professional development.

President Bush. Bruce and his wife Patti Jo have four children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law and 11 grandchildren.

Keynote Speaker: Bruce Vincent Bruce Vincent, a third generation logger from Libby, Montana, will motivate and inspire attendees during the Friday evening banquet. Throughout the past 25 years, Bruce has given motivational speeches throughout the United States and the world, has testified on natural resource issues before Congress and has appeared on several news programs such as “60 Minutes.” Bruce has been named Timberman of the Year in Montana, National Forest Activist of the Year, the AgriWomen’s 2007 Veritas Award Winner and in 2004 received the inaugural Presidential Preserve America Award from

Conference Sessions On Saturday, there will be three rounds of workshops ranging in topics from leadership, advocacy, education, immigration and business. Saturday afternoon will have a “Resource Course” for those interested in P&E and a conference wide service project. The Leadership Conference will also be the host to the preliminary rounds of the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet. The conference will conclude on Saturday night following the leadership banquet with entertainment hosted by the MFBF YF&R Committee and the Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee.

• Michael Kitchell, Norman County • Tony Kornder, Scott County • Miles Kuschel, Cass County • Chad Larson, Wilkin County • Douglas Lawrence, Anoka County • Mark Maiers, Sibley County • Joel Mathiowetz, Redwood County • TaLana Mathiowetz, Redwood County • Fran Miron, Washington-Ramsey County • Eric Mousel, Arrowhead Regional • Greg Muelebroeck, Pipestone County • Ronald Nelson, Chisago County • Craig Nord, Goodhue County • Carolyn Olson, Lyon County • Kevin Paap, Blue Earth County • Jeff Pagel, Olmsted County • Marie Powell, Headwaters Regional

• Chris Radatz, Scott County • Brian Randolph, Dakota County • Robert Roelofs, Blue Earth County • Douglas Schultz, Nicollet County • David Sogge, Mahnomen County • Bruce Tiffany, Redwood County • Andrew Van Nurden, Redwood County • Joyce Welander, WashingtonRamsey County • Charlie Westfall, Wilkin County • Stanley Whitney, Faribault County • Scott Winslow, Fillmore County • Roger Zastrow, Todd County

Toy machine shed donated by Watonwan County Farm Bureau.

Tours This year’s tours will depart from the Sanford Center at 10 a.m. on Friday. Tours stops include Riviana Foods Inc., Bemidji Woolen Mills, Norbord Inc. and North Central Door Company.

Kansas Troubles Sampler Quilt made by Virginia Bissen.

Vincent to Address Leadership Conference Entertainment will include two options, attend the Bemidji State vs. Michigan Tech college hockey game (no additional cost - price included in registration) or stay and watch the movie Ivy League Farmer. Conference Details When: February 3-4, 2017 Time: Friday, 10 a.m. – Saturday, 9 p.m. Where: Sanford Convention Center/Country Inn & Suites, Bemidji Who: Those interested in leadership development, promotion and education or

networking. Registration: Conference registration is due January 13, 2017 to MFBF Leadership Conference, P.O. Box 64370, St. Paul, MN 55164. No refunds will be made after January 13, 2017. Register online at Discussion Meet Deadline: January 20, 2017 Costs Full Conference: $120 Hotel: Single Room $99 plus tax, King Suite $119 plus tax. Each attendee must make

their own reservation. Late Conference Registration (After January 13): $160 Conference Tours: $25 per person, includes box lunch Look for brochures and conference information at your county Farm Bureau office and on For more information, call 651-768-2115 or email



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n�Southeast Area Program Director THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Federa�on (MFBF) welcomed new staff member Michael Knight in November as the southeast area program director working with the coun�es of Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona. Michael is a recent graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture and life sciences educa�on. Previous experiences include serving as Iowa State FFA vice-president, DuPont Pioneer internship, AgSolver Inc. internship and Vermeer Corpora�on.

AMANDA AND BRAD DUROW YF&R COMMITTEE MEMBER Hometown: Has�ngs Family: Daughter, Grace (5 months) Educa�on: Both a�ended University of Minnesota, Brad received a bachelor of science in animal science, and Amanda received a bachelor of science in animal science and masters of business administra�on. Farm: Fi�h genera�on crop and dairy farm with Brad�s parents. Hobbies: Following Minnesota Sports - Gophers, Twins and Vikings Why did you get involved with YF&R? We wanted to expand our network and engage with others who are passionate about agriculture. Dates to Remember: AFBF Annual Mee�ng, �anuary �-11, 2017 in Phoenix; MFBF Leadership Conference, February 3 - 4 in Bemidji; AFBF FUSION Conference, February 10-13, 2017 in Pi�sburgh; Farmfest, August 1-3, 2017, Gil�llian �state near Redwood Falls.

After harvest season inevitably comes “meeting season.” These winter months are filled with farm shows, outlook meetings and agriculture conferences. Although the events are full of interesting sessions and great speakers, the most value we receive out of them is interacting with other attendees. During these informal conversations, we learn the most. But to get the most out of these conversations, and in order to build your network, you have to plan, practice and prepare. First, you need to make a plan on the type of connections you are seeking. Do you need to find an expert resource? Do you want to expand your peer network? Are you looking to build a client base? All of these are viable networking strategies, and you may have multiple goals. Once you have a plan on the type of networking you will pursue, you must practice your introduction. Your elevator speech must give a meaningful connection to lead into a deeper conversation. You also need to practice focusing your

“One of the reasons we are so involved with Farm Bureau is to expand our network, as we enjoy learning from other young farmers and ag professionals.” conversation on the other person to leave a memorable impression. Lastly, you need to prepare how you will follow-up. In order to get the most of meeting new people you need to stay connected, and this starts with good follow-up whether call, email or text. One of the reasons we are so involved with Farm Bureau is to expand our network, as we enjoy learning from other young farmers and ag professionals. We look forward to connecting with you at Leadership Conference in Bemidji!

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n�Foundation Intern THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau (MFB) Founda�on welcomed Jared Retzlaff as the Founda�on Intern in midDecember. He is a student at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls majoring in agriculture marke�ng communica�ons. Jared has par�cipated in the Collegiate Farm Bureau program, received his American Farmer Degree and is a past Wisconsin State FFA vice-president.


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YOUNG FARMERS & RANCHERS Hometown: Green Isle in Sibley County Family: Husband Tim who also serves on the YF&R Commi�ee and children Alivia – 8 years and Oliver – 5 years Farm/Career Descrip�on: Pam is a farm business management instructor at South Central College through the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture. There she is working one on one with about 45 farm families on transi�on planning, financial planning and business planning. Tim is an agricultural educa�on instructor and FFA advisory for the Sibley East School district. Tim is one of two advisors that oversee the FFA program with over 100 students and also a 2.5 acre school garden, high tunnel and small orchard. In our li�le spare �me, we enjoy helping out with agriculture youth programs at the local and state level, including Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics training for the local youth. Pam works with the 4-H program during state fair with 4H media efforts and results, and works during the year for the 4-H Founda�on coordina�ng the 4-H livestock awards and working with those donors. Tim seems to be ge�ng more hours of farming in with a local farmer and enjoys all his �me working with ca�le and baling hay and corn stalks. Why did you get involved in YF&R? We became involved in Farm Bureau when a close friend and APD stopped and picked us up for supper one night; however, she failed to tell us the supper was over a county Farm Bureau mee�ng. We have been involved ever since. We have had many learning experiences over the 10 years of membership, but those that s�ck out to us are� Leadership conferences – a place to meet people the same age, with the same interests and passion for agriculture. Each farm is so different and we enjoy learning how everyone does things a li�le different to come to the same end result – feeding the world. YF&R trip to Washington D.C. – we always said we never really had an interest in policy…un�l we went to Washington D.C. We learned so much and soon realized policy was something we both really enjoyed. We now par�cipate in all our Day on the Hill events and have go�en to know our local legislators very well. We have learned through YF&R that it is important to have a voice for agriculture, whether you are in produc�on agriculture, business and industry, or just have a passion for ea�ng and food. We choose to be involved in Farm Bureau due to the unified voice for policy no ma�er what your farming prac�ce, your commodity, your size or your loca�on. We want those young agriculturists out there to know that Farm Bureau has many opportuni�es out there for you, no ma�er what your involvement is in agriculture. We are a great example, we are not directly involved in produc�on agriculture, but we both have careers that work closely in agriculture, and we s�ll advocate and share the passion with those that are.

#NextGen Farm Bureau Member As I sit down and reflect on annual meeting and the new duties I have been elected to do, I also reflect on my career in Farm Bureau. Tim and I have been Farm Bureau members since graduating from college…12 years ago. We were not an exact fit for Farm Bureau at the time as both of our careers were in education. Of course there were many county activities that we loved to participate in, but were a little out of the norm for state leadership opportunities. Over those years, we have seen many changes within the Farm Bureau organization, but none more positive than the by-law change voted on and passed at the annual meeting in November. The new change now encompasses all ‘persons whose occupation or source of livelihood involves agriculture.’ This opens the door for me to serve as the next YF&R chair and allows many counties to send voting delegates that qualify at the next annual meeting. My heart is full to know that an organization sees the next generation as an asset to their membership and long-term viability. Now, what does that mean to you as the #NextGen member? The grassroots membership realized they needed to shift with agriculture and realized there are many great members that may not have their livelihood come from production agriculture. This means there are more opportunities for membership growth, leadership roles and grassroots driven policy. #NextGen...this is your moment! Step up! Volunteer to serve on your local board. Step up and attend a district or state leadership conference. Attend a policy Day on the Hill. You don’t have to move mountains to make a difference in any organization. Just offer some time and your talents that the membership sees as well! PAM UHLENKAMP STATE YF&R COMMITTEE CHAIR


Capitol Corner AMBER HANSON • Director of Public Policy

COLE RUPPRECT • Associate Director of Public Policy

For more information on legislative issues, contact the MFBF Public Policy Team at 651-768-2100 or visit the Legislative Action Alert Center at

STATE H�No Special Session A public meeting on December 16 between Governor Mark Dayton and Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) landed the final blow to nearly six months of deadlocked negotiations between the two. The breakdown left both sides casting blame on the other for failure to find agreement in regards to a special session. A special session would have addressed a sharp rise in MNsure insurance premiums and a potential resolution to tax and bonding bills from the 2016 session. The 2017 legislative session starts on January 3. Addressing unfinished business from the previous session, taxes bonding and transportation, will be part of the majority's legislative agenda, Speaker Daudt said. But the first proposal to be formally introduced will most likely deal with health care reform. “My guess is it wouldn’t be a surprise that HF1 will be some sort of health insurance, health care reform that helps people get more access and more choices and lower cost health insurance coverage,” said Speaker Daudt. H�Minnesota DNR Releases Updated Buffer Maps The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) recently released the updated Minnesota buffer map. This update is based on comments and change requests from landowners and drainage authorities to ensure the map accurately shows where buffers are needed. Since the preliminary buffer map was released in March 2016, the MN DNR has received more than 3,400 comments or change requests and has made nearly 2,100 map updates. We recommend members view the interactive map, which allows you to find specific buffer requirements for waterways in precise areas. We encourage members to not only look at the land they own, but any land they may rent. To suggest a correction to the buffer map, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). SWCDs are able to work directly with landowners on these issues. The next updated Minnesota buffer map is set to be released in early 2017. The MN DNR has also updated the buffer map application. This application is a web-based mapping tool for soil and water conservation districts, drainage authorities and local governments to review the buffer map, suggest corrections and see MN DNR review decisions. The updated application provides SWCDs and drainage authorities with an easy way to submit map change requests and other comments. The map can be found at: H�Palmer Amaranth Listed as “Prohibited Weed Seed” Palmer amaranth was discovered and confirmed in Minnesota this past September. It is suspected that seed intended for conservation plantings may be the source of the introduction. However, this pathway is still under active investigation, and it has not been determined (with certainty) how this aggressive weed arrived in Minnesota.

Palmer amaranth developed resistance to multiple classes of herbicides and their different modes of action, making it challenging to control. Palmer amaranth seed was accidentally moved, perhaps with cotton meal, and continues to spread. It is causing extensive corn and soybean crop losses in many areas. Currently, The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) believes that the number of introductions into the state has been relatively small. MDA has been working with farmers to identify and potentially eradicate these affected areas. H�Governor’s Committee on Pollinator Protection Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced appointments to the Governor’s Committee on Pollinator Protection, created to advise the Governor, the Environmental Quality Board, the Interagency Pollinator Protection team and participating agencies on pollinator policy and programs, and to promote statewide collaboration on pollinator protection. Among those appointed was Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap. H�MN DNR Forms Deer Plan Advisory Committee A 20-member citizen committee has been formed to directly assist the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) as it develops and launches Minnesota’s first-ever deer management plan in Spring 2018. Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap was appointed to the Deer Plan Advisory Committee. Other committee members include archery, firearm and muzzleloader hunters as well as nonhunters; landowners; farmers; land managers; wildlife photographers; local government; community activists; natural resource scientists; public health officials; and members and employees of hunting, conservation and agricultural organizations. The committee’s first meeting was Tuesday, December 13 in St. Paul. During the next year, committee members will review technical information and public input received at regional public meetings, online questionnaires and written comments. H�Minnesota Legislature Announces Leadership in House and Senate Senator Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) was elected to lead the Senate going into the 2017 legislative session. Majority Leader Gazelka is in his third term in the Senate representing District 9. He has served as assistant leader since 2014, the lead republican on the Commerce Committee since 2012 and was on the Tax Conference Committee in 2016. Senator Michelle Fischbach (R-Payneville) will serve as the Senate President and Senator Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) will serve as the Minority Leader. Current House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin (R-Rogers) retained their leadership positions in the House of Representatives. Representative Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) will serve as the Minority Leader. Senator Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) and Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) were appointed as deputy leaders. Senator Benson held an assistant leader title and

Minnesota House and Senate Co��i�ee C�airs

Minnesota House of Representa��es Ag. Finance

Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake)

Ag. Policy

P. Anderson (R-Starbuck)

Capital Investment

Urdahl (R-Grove City)

Civil Law and Data Practices Policy

Scott (R-Andover)

Commerce and Regulatory Reform

Hoppe (R-Chaska)

Education Finance

Loon (R-Eden Prairie)

Education Innovation Policy

Erickson (R-Princeton)

Environment & Natural Resources Policy and Finance

Fabian (R-Roseau)

- Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry & Tourism

Swedzinski (R-Ghent)

Government Operations & Elections Policy

O’Driscoll (R-Sartell)

HHS Finance

Dean (R-Dellwood)

HHS Reform

Schomacker (R-Luverne)

- Subcommittee on Aging & Long-Term Care

Deb Kiel (R-Crookston)

- Subcommittee on Childcare Access & Affordability

Franson R-(Alexandria)

Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance

Nornes (R-Fergus Falls)

Job Growth & Energy Affordability Policy and Finance

Garofalo (R-Farmington)

Legacy Funding Finance

Gunther (R-Fairmont)

Property Tax & Local Government Finance Division (Taxes)

Drazkowski (R-Mezeppa)

Public Safety & Security Policy and Finance

Cornish (R-Vernon Center)

Rules & Legislative Administration

Peppin (R-Rogers)

State Government Finance

S. Anderson (R-Plymouth)


Davids (R-Preston)

Transportation Finance

Torkelson (R-Hanska)

Transportation & Regional Governance Policy

Runbeck (R-Circle Pines)

Veterans Affairs Division (SGF)

Dettmer (R-Forest Lake)

Ways & Means

Knoblach (R-St. Cloud)


Erickson (R-Princeton)

Minnesota Senate Aging & Long-Term Care Policy

Housley (R-St. Marys Point)

Ag., Rural Development & Housing Finance

Westrom (R-Elbow Lake)

Ag., Rural Development & Housing Policy

Weber (R-Luverne)

Capital Investment

Senjem (R-Rochester)

Commerce & Consumer Protection

Dahms (R-Redwood Falls)

E-12 Finance

Nelson (R-Rochester)

E-12 Policy

Pratt (R-Prior Lake)

Energy & Utilities Finance and Policy

Osmek (R-Mound)

Environment & Natural Resources Finance

Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria)

Environment & Natural Resources Policy & Legacy Finance

Ruud (R-Breezy Point)


Rosen (R-Vernon Center)

Health & Human Services Finance & Policy

Benson (R-Ham Lake)

Human Services Reform Finance & Policy

Abeler (R-Anoka)

Higher Education Finance & Policy

Fischbach (R-Paynesville)

Jobs & Economis Growth Finance & Policy

Miller (R-Winona)

Judiciary & Public Safety Finance & Policy

Limmer (R-Maple Grove)

Local Government

Hall (R-Burnsville)

Rules & Administration

Galzelka (R-Nisswa)

State Government Finance & Policy & Elections

Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake)


Chamberlain (R-Blaine)

Transportation Finance & Policy

Newman (R-Hutchinson)

Veterans & Military Affairs Finanace & Policy

B. Anderson (R-Buffalo)


18A • JANUARY 2017 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • t CORNER FROM 17A was ranking republican on the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee in the previous biennium. Senator Miller is a new addition to the leadership team this year, after serving as ranking republican on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee last biennium. Senator Gary Dahms (RRedwood Falls), Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), and Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) will continue their tenure as assistant leaders, all having served in the previous biennium. Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) will also step up to serve as assistant leader. Senator Dahms was the ranking republican on the Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Senator Ingebrigtsen was the ranking republican on the Natural Resources, Economic Development and Agriculture Budget Division and Senator Limmer was the ranking Republican in the Judiciary Committee in the previous biennium. Senator Pratt served on various committees including the Commerce, Transportation and Education Committees.

NATIONAL NEWS H�Statement by AFBF President Duvall on 2016 Election Results “The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) congratulates President-elect Trump on his election, as well as those candidates elected to serve during the 115th Congress. The important issues facing American agriculture are not red or blue, but they are critical to the prosperity of rural America and our ability to protect our nation’s food supply. We urge our elected representatives to reach across the aisle and come together to resolve the challenges we face. Farmers and ranchers understand that their businesses and their families have too much at stake to take a back seat on Election Day, and rural America clearly made a difference in this election. Now it’s time for our newly elected leaders to turn up for rural America and keep their campaign promises by addressing the issues that



matter to the people who sent them to Washington. Farm Bureau looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress on issues such as the farm bill, tax reform and a trade agenda focused on reducing barriers and expanding exports. America’s farmers and ranchers are working overtime to ensure our food supply is safe and sustainable. It’s time our elected leaders put that same diligence to work protecting U.S. agriculture by promoting innovation and ensuring we have an adequate workforce. We need regulatory reform that boosts farm businesses rather than shutting them down. Farmers are concerned for the environment and are hopeful that the new administration will recognize agriculture’s strides in sustainability and protect our ability to produce. Elected officials come to Washington with different perspectives and ideas, but they share a common goal of wanting to make our nation better for all Americans. At Farm Bureau, we will continue to do our part to help identify opportunities for cooperation to improve the lives of rural communities, and all American farmers and ranchers.” H�Renewable Fuel Volumes The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a required annual rulemaking, this action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel for 2017 and for biomass-based diesel for 2018. The final renewable volume obligation for 2017 requires 19.28 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended with conventional fuels. This is up from the previously proposed requirement of 18.8 billion gallons for 2017. Total renewable fuel volumes grew by 6 percent from 2016 to 2017. Of those 19.28 billion gallons for 2017, 15 billion gallons will be of conventional corn ethanol which is the same level set through the Congressional mandate. The remaining 4.28 billion gallons are for advanced biofuels which includes


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heavier trucks seasonally. These costs would impact an industry that is currently struggling to make ends meet with the recent downturn in the farm economy,” said Farm Bureau.

biodiesel and cellulosic biofuels, among others. In addition, EPA set the final volume requirements for biodiesel in 2018 at 2.1 billion gallons. The remaining mandates for 2018 will be determined later on. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set annual Renewable Fuels Standards volume requirements for four categories of biofuels. Farm Bureau supports EPA’s actions on the 2017 volume requirements and had previously submitted comments in favor of keeping Renewable Volumne Obligation at statutory levels. H�Farm Bureau Opposes Speed Limiters Proposal The U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposal to require speed limiters for large commercial vehicles fails to take into account the fact that many commercial vehicles often cover hundreds of miles on open roads with few other vehicles, Farm Bureau pointed out in recently submitted comments. In addition, the proposed rule would pass on significant costs to already struggling farmers and ranchers who only use heavier trucks seasonally. The proposed rule, put forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and DOT, would require vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with a speed limiting device initially set to a speed no greater than a speed to be specified in a final rule and would require motor carriers operating such vehicles in interstate commerce to maintain functional speed limiting devices set to a speed no greater than a speed to be specified in the final rule for the service life of the vehicle. Speed limits should not be arbitrarily established by federal rule, Farm Bureau said in its comments. Instead, it should be based on conditions in the area in which it’s posted. “The proposal ignores the fact that many commercial vehicles often operate for hundreds of miles without much interaction with other traffic. There is no clear rationale in the rule for suggesting a truck traveling in a rural setting with minimal traffic should have the same top speed as a truck traveling in a large city,” said Farm Bureau. The organization also pointed out that the proposal would be too costly for farmers and ranchers who use large trucks only during certain times of the year. “The rule, if adopted, would pass on significant costs to our members who do not operate as commercial motor vehicle enterprises but only utilize

H�WIIN Act Signed into Law President Obama signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act into law following its passage by Congress. The act will provide much-needed support for the nation's inland waterways transportation system. Farm Bureau supported the legislation. Minnesota's Senators, Klobuchar and Franken, both voted in support of the bill as well as Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, Ellison, Emmer, Peterson and Nolan. H�Scott Pruitt to Lead EPA Farmers, ranchers and many others cheered President-elect Donald Trump's choice of Scott Pruitt to lead EPA. In his position as attorney general in Oklahoma, Pruitt has stood up for common-sense, effective regulation that protects the environment and the rights of the regulated community, according to American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall. Trump's selection of Pruitt “is welcome news to America's farmers and ranchers—in fact, to all who are threatened by EPA's regulatory overreach—and should help provide a new degree of fairness for U.S. agriculture,” said Duvall in a statement. Noting farmers' appreciation for Pruitt's effective legal work in response to EPA's overreaching Waters of the U.S. rule. Duvall said AFBF

anticipates that as EPA administrator, Pruitt will pay attention to the concerns of farmers and others who work with the nation's natural resources on a daily basis. “Agriculture is a profession based on a solid ethic of conservation. It helps guide everything we do, and we expect that Pruitt will understand that in regulatory matters dealing with agriculture and the environment,” said President Duvall. Pruitt led attorneys general from several states in filing one of a number of lawsuits challenging EPA's WOTUS rule. The EPA administrator must be confirmed by the Senate. H�Ryan Zinke Nominated for Secretary of the Interior In a recent statement AFBF President Zippy Duvall hailed President-elect Trump’s nomination for U.S. Secretary of the Interior. “The nomination of Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior signals an important step toward balanced use of federal lands. During his time in the U.S. House, he has recognized that the federal government has an obligation to manage, rather than merely preserve, the 28 percent of U.S. land it controls. He supports a pragmatic, ‘all of the above’ approach to energy generation rather than limiting ourselves to one form of energy over another. He is a proven leader and qualified choice for the position,” said President Duvall.

n�UMC Discussion Meet

Photo by Ruth Meirick

THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Federa�on held a regional Collegiate Discussion Meet at the University of Minnesota – Crookston on November 10. Savannah Zippel of LeSueur won the compe��on and Anna �ohnson finished as runner�up. Both received scholarships from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on and advanced to the MFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet. Pictured, le� to right, are Anna �ohnson – runner�up, Charli Schoker – finalist and Savannah Zippel – winner. This was one of the five regional finals held throughout the state to qualify for the state finals.





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(154) Bedding SEED/FERTILIZER/CHEMICALS (160) Seed (162) Fertilizer (164) Chemicals REAL ESTATE: (170) Farms (172) Farm Land (174) Mobile Homes (176) Resort Property (178) Land For Rent (179) For Rent (180) House (181) Small Acreage BUILDING MATERIALS: (185) Building Materials (187) PreCnst. Bldgs. Util./Mach. (189) Bins/Silos AUCTIONEERS: (190) Auctioneers (193) Auctions (195) Coming Sale Dates

(150) Hay/Straw/ Grain

(073) Articles for Sale

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MISCELLANEOUS FOR SALE: (069) Antiques (070) Home Furnishings (072) Appliances (073) Articles For Sale (074) Gardening Equipment (075) Heating/Fuel (076) Fish Farms (077) Plants/Trees (078) Wanted To Buy SPORTING EQUIPMENT: (080) Boats/Motors (082) All Terrain (084) Snowmobiles (085) Hot Tubs (086) RV/Marine FARM EQUIPMENT: (090) Misc. Farm Equipment (091) Tractors (095) Farm Trailers (094) Material Handling (096) Salvage Parts (097) Farm Equip. Wanted

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farm fresh



FARM & BUSINESS n�Caterpillar Inc. Members receive up to $2,500 in purchase incentives on Caterpillar Inc. machines. Eligible equipment includes: skid steer loaders, compact and multi-terrain loaders, wheel loaders, telehandlers, backhoe loaders, hydraulic excavators and track-type tractors. Discounts cannot be applied to past purchases. Farm Bureau members in Minnesota must provide a valid Member Verification Certificate to the Cat dealer at the time of purchase or lease quote to receive the discount. To obtain your certificate, go to, click on “Minnesota,” enter your number and zip code. For more information call 651-768-2114. n�Grainger, Inc. Farm Bureau Members can save through Grainger on more than a million different products. To ensure your membership discount is applied, ALWAYS reference Minnesota Farm Bureau’s unique account number (860600410) when visiting your local branch or ordering via Grainger Customer Support Call Center. Create a user ID and password and view exclusive Farm Bureau pricing online. Grainger has established a new Farm Bureau Member Support line at 877-620-2852 to help Farm Bureau members get registered, place orders using their state discount code, check stock, answer questions and provide support for FREE standard ground shipping on any orders placed with Grainger. n�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. Farm Bureau members in Minnesota must provide a valid Member Verification Certificate to the dealer at the time of purchase or lease quote to receive the discount. To obtain your certificate, go to, click on “Minnesota,” enter your number and zip code. For more information call 651-768-2114. 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 n�Business Succession Handing over the reins of a family farm or business isn’t easy. It takes time and teamwork to create a strategy that fits the goals and objectives of both the current and future owners, especially as operations grow in size and complexity. And oftentimes, starting the conversation is the hardest part. With the right tools and resources at your fingertips, you can be on your way to a successful succession strategy - and peace of mind. Visit to find tips for starting the conversation, assembling a team and understanding planning options.

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT For tickets and information on benefits call 651-768-2114 or visit Select Membership Benefits under Membership. First time users will need to create a login. n�Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium, Mall of America Check out the re-designed aquarium. Members receive up to 40% discount on tickets. Order online at n�Nickelodeon Universe®, Mall of America The nation’s largest indoor family theme park. Discounted all day wristband tickets may be ordered at n�Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Discounted zoo admission tickets—offering $2 adult and $1 children and seniors. Can be ordered at n�Valleyfair, Shakopee Members receive a savings off gate price tickets and parking during the season. n�Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul Enjoy discounts to events at The site is updated as new events are announced.

n�Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells, WI A perk for the whole pack! A 30% savings off best available room rates and includes up to four waterpark passes. Visit or call 866-925-9653 to make reservations. Use code: MNFB551A. (Offer guaranteed when reservations are made 30 days prior to arrival date).

n�Choice Hotels Save up to 20% off rates at almost 6,300 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 800-258-2847 or log onto 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

n�ScriptSave A prescription drug savings card. Save on brand name and generic prescription purchases at local pharmacies and use Group Number 941. Visit 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�Life Line Screening Receive the following four screenings for $135 and an additional osteoporosis screening at no extra cost: stroke/carotid artery, heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease. If there are any issues after screenings, in most cases there are many treatment options available. These decisions are ones you should carefully and thoughtfully discuss with your doctor. For more information call 877-564-7283 or visit 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

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 for a doctor near you. n�Clear Value Hearing Clear Value Hearing and Starkey Hearing Technologies have partnered their resources to offer a comprehensive hearing benefit program offering Farm Bureau members discounts on today’s latest technology. Includes FREE hearing assessment, FREE annual testing, 100% guaranteed custom fit, and much more. Call 888-497-7447 or visit for more information.

FINANCIAL SERVICES n�Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) FBFS offers a wide range of competitive products and services to county Farm Bureau members in Minnesota. 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 local Farm Bureau agent or visit our website at today for more information.

*Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company, West Des Moines, Iowa

n�Farm Bureau Bank We proudly serve the members of the Farm Bureau and strive to offer the very best products and services. Our banking products include vehicle, equipment and recreational loans with up to 100% financing, FDIC insured deposit products, personal and business credit cards plus more. For more information or to apply visit or call 800-492-3276.

COMMUNICATIONS n�FB Benefits Mobile App Available for free on both Apple and Android devices, the free Farm Bureau Member Benefits App includes alphabetical and categorical listings of member benefits available in Minnesota. It also features a convenient mapping feature to help you identify member benefits near you at any time. You can also find your Farm Bureau insurance or agent information. Download the app today and get the most from your Farm Bureau membership! Search: FB Benefits. You will need your membership number and zip code to get started.

n�IHG Hotels Members save 10% at over 1,400 participating IHG Hotels. Brands include some of the best-known and most popular in the world. The nine hotel brands include: InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts. In order for a member to redeem the Farm Bureau discount, call 877-4242449 or walk into the hotel and ask for the “Farm Bureau Federation” discount, or book online at, click on Advance Search option and enter in the Corporate ID# 100334603.

AUTOMOBILE n�Chevrolet, Buick, GMC The $500 Bonus Cash offer is available to eligible Farm Bureau members, such as Owner Loyalty (discounted employee, dealership employee and supplier pricing is excluded). The $500 “Bonus Cash” offer can be used on the purchase or lease of 2016 and 2017 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models. Must be a member for at least 30 days prior to date of delivery. To obtain your certificate, go to, click on "Minnesota," enter in your member number (i.e. 9800000) and zip code. Questions can be directed to 651-768-2114. n�NEW! Budget Enjoy savings of up to 25% off Budget base rates when renting a vehicle from a participating location in the contiguous U.S. and Canada. Use Budget Customer Discount (BCD) number Y775723 to shop the lowest rates for your next rental. Visit or call 800-527-0700 to make a reservation. 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 Mention your Avis worldwide discount number: Minnesota Farm Bureau, A298823. n�Polaris Polaris is offering a manufacturers incentive discount to Farm Bureau members. Members will receive $200 off all • full size all-terrain vehicles (ATV), $300 off all • full size utility and sport vehicles (UTV), and $300 off all • GEM electric vehicles. (• Discount does not apply to any general or youth models.) Must be a member for at least 30 days and provide valid Polaris authorization certificate obtained at Program ends January 13, 2017. 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 during business hours. Be sure to mention that you are a Farm Bureau member and refer to Group #M875.

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 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 To be included contact Judy Pilcher,, 651-768-2114, Fax: 651-768-2159 or visit


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

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


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

FARM BUREAU BELIEFS 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 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.


Tools and Resources at has a new look! ®

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


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

“Somebody has to step forward, and Farm Bureau has always been on the forefront.” – David Mathiowetz, Redwood County

2. Leadership

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

3. Image

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

4. Resources

• Membership growth • Revenue growth • Fiscal responsibility

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


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

What Do I Get for My Investment?


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

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

Farm Bureau Membership What’s in it for you? w Food Safety

Farm Bureau is committed to providing safe, healthy and affordable food for families. We work with farmers and government officials to ensure that food safety is a top priority.

w Protecting our Environment

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

w Energy

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

w Animal Care

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

w Strong Rural Communities

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



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


President’s Message Kevin Paap


ver Farm Bureau’s 98 years, our Farm Bureau Beliefs and Values have provided our organization with a firm foundation to carry out our mission and strategic plan. Our Mission: an advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and policies of our members. The strategic plan provides direction. • Policy - Farm Bureau will advocate the policies determined by our members. • Image - Farm Bureau will enhance and strengthen its profile. • Leadership - Farm Bureau will recognize, empower and engage our members. • Resources – Farm Bureau will grow membership and revenue to be fiscally responsible.

However, the effectiveness of our mission and strategic plan comes down to our members learning about agricultural issues, telling their personal stories and building relationships. Combined, these three components help Farm Bureau to effectively communicate and demonstrate who and what Farm Bureau is as an organization. Learn I encourage you to learn more about how we can be effective - what the issues are, and how St. Paul and Washington D.C. work. Learn from other Farm Bureau members in your county, state and nation about how the issues affect them and share how they affect you. This will help you grow your understanding and gain different perspectives on the issues, which in turn strengthen Farm Bureau’s message as the Voice for Agriculture. Learning from different generations and different cultures is essential. It brings together varying perspectives to strengthen Farm Bureau’s voice while demonstrating continuous improvement. Through participation in our Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Leadership Contests members build their knowledge on the issues while learning how to communicate that knowledge effectively with others. Take time to learn consumer perspectives. This can be gained through Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), safety camp presentations, or from sharing about your farm wherever there is an opportunity. Whether through conversations with friends and family, social media or presentations like Speak for Yourself, engage in the conversations, listen to what is really being asked in order to learn and grow from those opportunities and strengthen Farm Bureau’s voice.

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

98 Years Strong Learn, Tell, Build

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

Kevin Paap, President

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


POLICY Solid, sound policy development, implementation and political action

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

State Focus Areas

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

National Focus Areas

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

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

–Bruce Brenden, West Otter Tail County EPA now has to “recall” all of the personal information it unlawfully released, but unfortunately that information has now been in the hands of the FOIA requestors for three years, and many feel the damage is done. AFBF will continue to address the larger concern over EPA’s collection and public distribution of data about farmers and ranchers. Until this complete court case is resolved, a temporary stay remains in place prohibiting EPA from releasing this information, at least temporarily, and protecting farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information. Trans-Pacific Partnership Issue: Selling more U.S. goods around the world boosts farm profitability and benefits rural communities. Farm Bureau continues to work towards Congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to increase U.S. farmers’ and ranchers’ access to foreign markets. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) estimates that annual net farm income will increase by $4.4 billion, driven by an increase of direct U.S. agricultural exports of $5.3 billion per year upon full implementation of the TPP agreement as compared to a scenario in which the U.S. fails to pass the agreement while the remaining member countries proceed quickly. Action: Farm Bureau has taken a lead on supporting approval of the TPP agreement in order to expand market opportunities for American farmers and ranchers. Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap an AFBF board member and AFBF Trade Advisory Committee chair, testified before a hearing of the United States House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee where he described a litany of trade barriers faced by farmers and ranchers. In addition, Farm Bureau members continue to discuss the need for international markets especially here in Minnesota. Sharing our story on the benefit of trade for a wide range of Minnesota agriculture has been and will continue to be, a top priority for MFBF. Result: Now that the trade deal is complete, all participating nations will need to pass implementing legislation in order to bring the agreement into forceincluding the United States. It is critical to remember that the TPP is a multi-lateral agreement intended to create high quality rules and market access across its 12 members. However, outside of TPP, other member countries would – and indeed are – already negotiating and implementing bilateral agreements without waiting for the United States to complete action. While legally TPP would only go into full effect if the U.S. ratifies the agreement, other countries will move forward with their trade capabilities regardless of whether or not the U.S. decides to ratify the agreement. U.S. failure to enact TPP will not see our trade situation stay the same, but will lead to declining net exports and market share in important markets. Farm Bureau will continue its work to increase market opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers.

Buffers Issue: Present buffer legislation in Minnesota requires a minimum of 16.5 feet perennial vegetative strips next to public drainage ditches, and a 50 feet average buffer with a minimum 30 feet buffer, next to public waters. While this agreement is currently recognized as the approach to follow, provisions of the law passed during the 2015 special session could be interpreted as something else. Correcting the law to fit this approach is important in order to keep agencies from re-interpreting after the session is completed and also to protect landowners from “You develop a lasting relationship with lawsuits by those who believe members, and you just can’t replace that.” more areas should be put into buffers. –Bob Fritz, Pipestone County Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) strongly supported legislation that provided clarification to the buffer law as well as

overall general improvements and more local control in both determinations of public waters and implementation of buffers. Results: MFBF supported the passage of S.F. 2503 which amended the previous buffer law to provide clarification and modification to buffer requirements on public waters and drainage ditches. The legislation that passed also modified the authority to issue administrative penalty orders. Changes made to the legislation ensures that revenue created by issuing penalties is retained by the county, watershed district, or Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) that issues it and that the costs associated with the enforcement are incurred by the enforcement party. The legislation also requires BWSR to adopt an administrative penalty order (APO) plan by July 1, 2017 so that it has procedures in place for issuing penalties and to provide consistency to county and watershed districts. Clarification to the term “public waters” used in the 2015 buffer law applies to waters that are on the public water inventory conducted in the 1980’s. By clarifying what waters are designated as public, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will not be able to add or reduce new waters to the protection map. The legislation also eliminates inconsistencies for buffer requirements for public ditches by stating that the buffer requirement under public drainage law is identical to this law. MFBF has produced and widely distributed an easy to understand brochure entitled “Understanding Minnesota’s New Buffer Requirement.” This tool also outlines options and opportunities for landowners to consider in making decisions about their property, impacted by the state’s buffer law. Agricultural Property Taxes Issue: Minnesota agricultural property owners are being significantly challenged by increasing property tax burdens, especially resulting from local school debt bonds, approved by voters for new or remodeled facilities. With agricultural property making up the bulk of most rural school districts, a disproportional burden of the tax falls on agricultural property taxpayers. The issue is demonstrated by statistics where in roughly 20 percent of the state’s school districts, 75 percent or more of the tax base is agricultural property. In one third of the state’s school districts 50 percent or more of the tax base is agricultural property. In nearly all analysis of impacts, agricultural property taxpayers pay 10 times the amount of taxes paid by homeowners in town where school construction bonds are involved. Over the past 15 years, agricultural landowners have seen an 85.47% increase in property tax levies. Action: MFBF supported efforts to fix structural changes to balance the lack of inequality of the current property tax system. Farm Bureau members testified, wrote letters to the editor and called their members of Congress. MFBF strongly supported the passage of the Omnibus Tax Bill and worked throughout session to have provisions including a 40 percent tax credit on the portion of agricultural property tax going to school debt bonds. The tax credit would have provided $90.6 million in tax relief for the next biennium. Results: Although legislators showed strong bipartisan support of 89 percent in favor of property tax reform, the Omnibus Tax Bill was pocket vetoed by the Governor. Despite an overwhelming large request from both legislature and the general agricultural population, the Governor failed to call a special session to negotiate the unaddressed property tax issues. MFBF continues to work to explore options to make property taxes on agricultural land more sustainable and fair. By working with other groups and organizations, MFBF leads the charge in addressing agricultural property tax issues and working with lawmakers to find legislative solutions.


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

—Jared Luhman, Goodhue County

Minnesota Result: The Minnesota Farmers Farmers CARE CARE, Committed to Agriculture �o��i�e� while Respecting the Earth, Issue: Minnesota to Minnesota Agriculture Farmers Animals • Environment • Food farmers are while Re��ec��g • Family initiative to connect and Committed to the Earth engage consumers with farmers Agriculture while driven by local Farm Bureaus has Respecting the • Animals • Environment • Food • Family been very successful. Projects Earth, and County include billboards; newspaper Farm Bureaus need ads; placemats used at annual resources to share meetings and Breakfasts on the Farms; movie this message with consumers. Minnesota theater and radio ads; pop up banners; back Farmers CARE, Animals • Environment • Food • packs for 4-H youth leadership; fair displays; Family, is only as useful as the information we county 4-H herdsmanship displays; bookmarks; are able to share and conversations we are able newspaper inserts; and brochures. This year’s to have. projects had over 20 million people consumer Action: County Farm Bureaus across the state impressions. implemented local projects in order to be The Minnesota Farmers CARE – Food piece proactive with consumers not directly involved in was provided to counties and distributed agriculture. Whoever defines the “issue” are the throughout the state. As an added feature, it ones who have positive outcomes. was featured on the Minnesota Farm Bureau For Food Awareness Month in February, a website and linked to further information about Minnesota Farmers CARE – Food piece was each of the farmers, whether it be a video, blog provided to each county to have at events, or news story. Having additional avenues for featuring “Ask a Farmer,” where farmers information on the website and social media answered some of the most asked questions maintains Farm Bureau’s credibility as a trusted about food today. source. SOTA FAR NNE M MI


Care ®

Pope County Farm Bureau



Minnesota State Fair Issue: Consumers are more removed from agriculture than ever before. People are asking questions about their food and want to feel connected to those that grow and raise it. Maintaining and regaining the trust of consumers as the number one resource on information is a priority. Action: Minnesota Farmers CARE was the theme of the Minnesota Farm Bureau building at the Minnesota State Fair. Fairgoers had the opportunity to take a quiz about each of the areas of Minnesota Farmers CARE, Animals Environment Food Family. Everyone who took the quiz received a lunch bag or a hot pad with the Minnesota Farmers CARE logo and were encouraged to continue the conversation on the Minnesota Farmers CARE Facebook page. Result: Over 10,000 fairgoers visited our Minnesota State Fair building with over 6,000 taking the quiz to receive a prize. Fairgoers were able to have conversations with farmers and Farm Bureau volunteers about their questions about farming, including some of the hottest issues like genetic enhancement, water quality and antibiotics.

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, Minnesota Beef Council, CHS, Cargill, Conservis, AgStar Financial Services, United FCS, AgCountry, AgriBank, Riverview Dairy and CHS, scheduled 154 presentations and managed traditional and social media outreach on a public Farming Today Facebook page this past year. Result: In total, 63 farmer leaders are trained through Speak for Yourself. With the help of Eidson & Partners, these speakers have been able to address more than 450 community organizations, including local Rotary clubs, Lions clubs, doctors, church groups, agribusinesses and school boards, since 2014. Speakers also present to moms groups and high school classrooms. Audience evaluations have shown 82 percent of the audiences had a positive impression of agriculture after the presentation, and 41 percent said that their opinion was changed favorably towards agriculture because of the farmer sharing their story. The Farming Today Facebook page has nearly 1,000 likes and a lifetime reach of over 150,000.


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

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


Agriculture in the Classroom Issue: The average consumer is three – seven generations removed from the farm so it makes since when consumer research indicates that consumers want to hear from farmers and ranchers. Providing consumers an opportunity to learn first-hand how and why farmers do what they do is impactful. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau connected with teachers at the Education Minnesota Conference and worked with teachers to connect them with Minnesota farmers. Classroom visits were made in person or online. Farm Bureau members connected with consumers through outreach at farmers markets, I Met a Farmer Tours, county fairs and Breakfast on the Farm events. Result: Classroom visits were made during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and throughout the year in urban areas. In addition, a new partnership was formed with the American Farm Bureau Foundation’s First Peas to the Table Contest and the Miss America program specifically working with Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell.

Resources and materials were distributed by the Minnesota Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture which were used by county leaders during classroom programs, farm tours, Farmers Markets, county fairs and Breakfasts on the Farms. Agriculture has a growing need for future employees. 60,000 agricultural related jobs go unfilled each year. Providing opportunities for consumers to better understand production agriculture will help shape the direction of agriculture in the future.

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

Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation

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


Minnesota Farm Bureau ®

P.O. Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164 651-768-2100 ���o����.o�� • ���.o��



–Joel Mathiowetz, Redwood County

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


“I firmly believe we all need to be ag advocates and share our story. Farm Bureau has allowed me to do that. It’s given me a network of other farmers to share ideas and grow and expand.”

January 2017 Voice of Agriculture  
January 2017 Voice of Agriculture