VOLUME 36 • No. 1
MFBF Annual Meeting PAGES 7A-13A
GAO Legal Opinion Finds EPA Violated Law Regarding WOTUS PAGE 15A
ELECTION16.FB.ORG PAGE 16A
MFBF Annual Review SECTION B
Say little, and love much; give all; judge no man; aspire to all that is pure and good. White Eagle
Agronomy. Answers. Yield. www.heftyseed.com 1-800-274-3389
Groups 1 &2 Groups 0&1
H007R5 “We were a little concerned with how the H007R5 might yield as it was maturing quite a bit ahead of some of our other varieties, but at the end of the day, It was our best bean across acres. They averaged 52 bu/acre.”
“A great all around bean, has the defensive package that we look for. Yielded 57 bu/acre on some of our best ground, and surprisingly 57 bu/acre on some of our tougher ground. This really proved to us the versatility of this variety.”
“A fantastic bean! The yield monitor didn’t go below 60 bu/acre and was spiking in the 70s! UNHEARD OF HERE!”
H09R4 “H09R4 went 63 bu/acre vs A0934 at 58 bu/ac.”
H09R4 “H09R4s yielded more than 4 bu/acre better than AG1234.”
H10R6 “H10R6 is consistently out yielding the later maturities.”
“H13R5 ﬁeld averaged 65 bu/acre near Watertown, SD.”
“H14R3 went 71.83 on 60 acres. Best yield ever on this ground!”
H17R4 “Our farm plants about 6000 acres of soybeans, mostly Pioneer. But H17R4 has been our best ﬁeld so far. Closest Pioneer average was 51 bu/acre to H17R4’s 65 bu/acre.”
H17R4 “H17R4 went 70 bu/acre in our ﬁeld near Raymond, SD.”
“H17R4 vs Legend 2R524: H17R4 Won by 4 Bushels. H17R4 running 55 bu. 28 miles north of Huron.”
H19R6 “We averaged upper 70s with H19R6 south of Sioux Falls, SD.”
H19R6 “Never seen anything like the H19R6 in terms of yield and stand.”
H20R3 “H20R3 avg 71 bu/acre vs. Pioneer 22T69’s avg of 62 bu/acre.”
“The best yielding bean for our farm EVER. Whole ﬁeld avg 77.5.”
H20R3 “H20R3 went 68 bu/acre on 130 acres near New Ulm, MN.”
H20R3 “H20R3 averaged 78.5 bu/acre on a ﬁeld of 160 acres.”
"H24R6 wins FIRST Trials in O’Brien County, IA."
"Average yield on 103 acres in NW Iowa was just over 76 bu/acre."
VOLUME 36 • No. 1
Minnesota Farm Bureau Outlines Focus Areas for 2016 During a comprehensive discussion on November 20, voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 97th Annual Meeting voted on and adopted policy positions for 2016. Based on those actions, the MFBF Board of Directors identiﬁed six major focus areas that will serve as the roadmap for public policy: water, agricultural production practices, taxes, transportation, education and energy. Water MFBF will work hard to achieve appropriate recognition of voluntary conservation practices already responsibly carried out by Minnesota farmers. Agriculture’s role in meeting water quality challenges can best be fulﬁlled through sitespeciﬁc actions addressing actual problems where they occur and not through a topdown process that applies restrictions and limitations through the use of statewide mandates, regulations or permit requirements. Adjusting production practices need to be based on realistic consideration which take into account variability of options, agronomic impacts, economic impacts and proactive solutions. State agencies dictating centrally-planned land-use requirements will neither be effective in improving water quality nor accepted by cooperative partners. Agricultural Production Practices Minnesota farmers are committed to providing safe food for families. Farmers continue to adopt ever-improving
20 u16 s foc
FARM BUREAU MEMBERS represen�ng every county and regional Farm Bureau met during the vo�ng delegate session at the MFBF Annual Mee�ng.
production methods, techniques and technologies. Not all farm families select the same production methods, but they still demonstrate their commitment to care for their livestock, manage and improve the quality of their environment and enhance the quality of the food and ﬁber they produce. The ability to voluntarily determine the best production practices that ﬁt their farms/ranches result in sustainable futures for farm families and yield ecological beneﬁts. MFBF will promote the necessity for property rights and avoidance of negative restrictions by government agencies seeking to force their land-use agenda. Taxes Property tax burdens are threatening family farms who are struggling to generate revenue from the land to pay required taxes. The present property tax system and cost requirements to support capital improvements for local government and educational facilities in rural portions of Minnesota is not equitable nor viable on a long-term basis. County Farm Bureaus will partner with their neighbors to be aware of how expenses of local government translate to property tax loads and work with their local government and school boards to maintain responsible spending limits. MFBF will continue to be involved in legislative actions necessary to address the range of issues associated with escalating property taxes.
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Farm Bureau Voting Delegates Re-Elect Paap President County voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 97th Annual Meeting re-elected Kevin Paap to his sixth two-year term as President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. He has served as president of the organization since November of 2005. The election was held November 20 during the delegate session in Bloomington. Kevin and Julie Paap own and operate a fourth-generation family farm in Blue Earth County. “I am humbled and honored to continue to do something that I truly love to do and am passionate about doing,” said Paap. “While agriculture faces many challenges, with every challenge there are opportunities. Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation will continue to be at the table in the public policy arena, build agriculture’s positive image and develop leaders at all levels.” Elected to three-year terms to the Board of Directors were Keith Allen of Kenyon in Goodhue County representing
Moenning and Thompson to Address Leadership Conference Accelerate – Learn, Live, Lead The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) presents the Leadership Conference, January 22-23, 2016. This year’s conference is themed “Accelerate” and will be held at the Airport Hilton in Bloomington. The Leadership Conference is designed to provide leadership training for all Farm Bureau members. Tours This year’s conference tours will depart from the Airport Hilton at 10 a.m. on Friday. Tour stops include Twin City Hide, National Weather Service and the University of Minnesota Meat Lab and Dairy Lab. Two tour buses will run concurrently offering the same tours. Tours are $25 per person and include a box lunch.
Photo by Ma� Addington
MINNESOTA FARM BUREAU Federa�on Board of Directors ���������. Pictured front row, le� to right, Pete Henslin – YF&R Chair, Chris Radatz – Execu�ve Director, Kevin Paap – President, Dan Glessing – Vice President, Dave Johnson – Treasurer and Mark Maiers – P&E Chair. Back row, le� to right – Keith Allen – District I, Bob Roelofs – District II, Carolyn Olson – District III, Nathan Collins – Disrict IV, Fran Miron – District V, Miles Kuschel – District VI and Mike Gunderson – District VII. District I, and Miles Kuschel of Sebeka in Cass County representing District VI. Pete Henslin of Dodge Center
in Dodge County will serve a one-year term on the board of directors as the Young Farmers and Ranchers committee chair.
Mark Maiers of Stewart in Sibley County will serve a oneyear term as the Promotion and Education committee chair.
Keynote Speakers: Donna Moenning and Darrell Thompson Donna Moenning will address the group on Friday, January 22. Moenning’s career in marketing and
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2A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
Ride for the Brand 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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Maiers State Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pete Henslin MFBF STATE STAFF Administrative Chris Radatz, Executive Director . . . 651-768-2104 Kim Oakes, Executive Secretary. . . . 651-768-2111 Foundation Ruth Meirick, Director . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2115 Public Relations Kristin (Campbell) Harner, Director . 651-768-2118 Pam Debele, Communication Specialist . . . . . . . 651-768-2117 Organization Development Katie Brenny, Southeast Region . . 507-923-1779 James Dodds, North Region . . . . 218-556-4667 DelRay Johnson, West Central Region . . . . . . . . . . 218-639-2092 Riley Maanum, Northwest Region 320-260-6417 Amanda Revier, Southwest Region. . . . . . . . . . . . 320-894-2600 Dennis Sabel, East Central . . . . . . 612-756-1230 Yvonne Simon, South Central. . . . 507-995-1652 Judy Pilcher, Administrative Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2114 Finance Dave Johnson, Director of Operations. . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2101 Lori Wiegand, Accounting Associate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2102 Public Policy Doug Busselman, Director . . . . . . . 651-768-2109 Amber Hanson, Associate Director . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2103 Michele DeGeest . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-768-2151 Administrative Assistant
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: Pam Debele Design and Layout: Madsen Ink Editorial and circulation offices: The Voice of Agriculture P.O. Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164-0370 Phone: 651-768-2118 Fax: 651-768-2159 E-mail: email@example.com www.fbmn.org For display advertising and classified advertising information, call 800-798-2691. Or write to: The Voice of Agriculture 406 Stevens Street Iowa Falls, IA 50126 Postmaster send change of addresses to: The Voice of Agriculture Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164-0370 Voice of Agriculture® is a registered service mark owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
KEVIN PAAP • MFBF PRESIDENT
Thank you American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman for your service to AFBF and American agriculture. The role as a leader in any organization is to “direct and protect.” President Stallman has spent the last 22 years on the AFBF Board of Directors. The last 16 years as our national president has clearly demonstrated his dedication and passion for Farm Bureau by directing and protecting our organization. Many times, we have heard him talk about the importance to “ride for the brand,” and this west Texas cattle rancher rode hard for our Farm Bureau brand and protected our brand well. The movie title “What about Bob?” has absolutely nothing to do with Bob Stallman. Bob never has been, is not now, and I am willing to bet will ever be about Bob. He is about our members, our mission, our vision and our values. He is about faith, family and farming and ranching. President Stallman has an admirable talent of broadening the roles of all Farm Bureau members to help them personally grow. The next AFBF President will be elected at the voting delegate session of the AFBF Annual Meeting in January. Although Bob Stallman will no longer hold the title of President, we can each carry on the lessons learned from his leadership to strengthen our Farm Bureaus. Recognizing Potential President Stallman has looked to our members to surface and empower the right person to be at the table representing Farm Bureau policy and Farm Bureau beliefs. He has valued all different kinds of leadership and recognized that strong leaders and leadership styles can work together for the betterment of agriculture with the unique ability to see potential in others and take them to the next level. Just a few years ago, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) was a vision. But with President Stallman at the helm, the USFRA became a reality and has become a driving force in engaging with consumers. Another example is the agriculture labor coalition that
brought together groups that rarely work together. We needed all of agriculture at the table to think through and work together for viable, common sense solutions to represent agriculture. President Stallman was able to bring everyone to the table. Sometimes this is not an easy task. Many may say that it is like keeping frogs in a wheel barrow. Stand Together Some have asked, “Why does a Texas cattle guy care about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)?” President Stallman had nothing to personally gain, only that it is good for all of agriculture. We must stand together. Other leaders have looked to President Stallman as an advisor. It was not uncommon for him to receive a call wanting to know what he thought about a trade negotiation. Did he have any ideas or solutions? His opinions are respected and trusted because he looks to the good of all of agriculture. Thank You I recall a trip to the airport with President Stallman where I naively asked him if he was going back to the ranch. He responded, “My goal is to get to the ranch one weekend a month, and I don’t make it every month.” I don’t know if everyone recognizes how much of a commitment it is to serve in this capacity. Serving Farm Bureau members across our country and serving agriculture could not be done alone. Family and spouses are a key component. Thank you to President Stallman’s wife Stacey Bryan and to the entire Stallman family for your commitment to ride for the brand and to serve Farm Bureau and agriculture. President Stallman is about our members, our mission, our vision and our values. Thank you for demonstrating strong Farm Bureau leadership. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Paap family.
An Honor Serving Agriculture
The Ag Agenda
BOB STALLMAN • AFBF PRESIDENT
In January, I’ll be passing the gavel to the new president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). It’s the ﬁnal item on my agenda. As I look back on the last 16 years, I am proud of the hard work we’ve done to strengthen agriculture and make the voice of America’s farmers and ranchers heard. Staying Ahead of Issues Facing Ag Farmers and ranchers know how to get things done. We aren’t afraid of a challenge. Markets are up and down, weather turns unexpectedly. Yet farmers face these twists and turns with resilience. In that same spirit, we began the work of honing our strategic focus here at AFBF when I started my ﬁrst term. We switched to offense and brought the whole team to Washington, D.C., to get out in front of the issues facing agriculture. Today, Farm Bureau staff and members are on the front lines making sure our voices are heard and protecting the business of agriculture. When you run into a problem on the farm, you don’t wish it away: You ﬁnd a solution and ﬁx it. You don’t ignore a broken fence or stop irrigating dry land. Wishful thinking doesn’t get things done, and it’s not good business. “Strategic” and “action” are familiar terms here at AFBF. We established a Strategic Action Team in D.C. not just to monitor key issues but to anticipate policy battles and ﬁnd solutions. As a direct result of that effort, we are supporting our state Farm Bureaus like never before in their efforts to gain grassroots support for our national policy priorities. We are also using enhanced training and social media communications to empower farm and ranch families to advocate for their businesses and rural communities. Standing Stronger Together Together we’ve won a lot of victories by sharing our stories with lawmakers and the public. When the Department of Labor tried to stand in the way of families working together on their farms, we took action and showed that we can protect our kids while training them to run the family business. Likewise, when efforts were afoot in Congress in
2010 to unilaterally tax the fuel that powers American agriculture, we linked arms in the call: “Don’t Cap Our Future.” Sometimes, getting things done means bringing new solutions to the table. That’s just what we did with farm bills in 2002, 2008 and 2014. Most recently, we worked with Congress to update the way risk on the farm is managed. New market-focused crop insurance programs brought the program into the new century while safeguarding farmers’ peace of mind. The success of U.S. agriculture is fueling industries in communities across the country. We’ve worked with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to open up trade around the world. And U.S agricultural exports are booming, bringing in $152 billion in 2014. With new trade agreements underway, we are poised for more growth still. Keeping up the Fight Our work is far from over. We continue to raise our voices in our call to Ditch The Rule, to inform lawmakers and the courts about the far-reaching impacts of EPA’s onerous Waters of the U.S. rule on productive farm and grazing land. It’s not just lawmakers who need to understand the importance of what we do on our farms and ranches, but also consumers who are being fed misinformation about agriculture. Toward that goal, I am proud of the roles that AFBF played in the formation of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and our long track record of support for the Center for Food Integrity – two efforts that help amplify our voice in national discussions about food issues. There have been a lot of changes since I was elected to serve as AFBF president back in 2000. I have no doubt that the new leader who takes up the gavel will have AFBF primed to capitalize on opportunities and address any challenges related to the prosperity of your farms and ranches, the quality of life you want for your families and the vitality of your rural communities. It’s truly been my honor to serve you and the agricultural industry we treasure.
JANUARY 2016 â€˘ VOICE OF AGRICULTURE â€˘ www.fbmn.org â€˘ 3A
communications has always been rooted in food and farming. She joined the Center for Food Integrity in 2013 after nearly nine years with Midwest Dairy Association serving as their team lead for integrated communications. For nearly three decades, Moenning has been sharing her skills in strategic planning, issues management, project management, video production and communication training. She believes all effective communication begins with understanding your audience, which is why she values CFIâ€™s annual consumer trust research. Itâ€™s simple: If you increase transparency, you will increase trust. The latest consumer trust research from the Center for Food Integrity provides the statistical data to prove it. This yearâ€™s research is the culmination of three years of work on the concept of increasing food system transparency. Consumers have been asking for greater transparency, and there have been varying attempts to deďŹ ne it. CFIâ€™s research not only deďŹ nes it, but now provides a clear path to achieve it and address the growing skepticism about food. Attend the MFBF Leadership Conference to learn more. Darrell Thompson will address the group on Saturday, January 23. Thompson is president of Bolder Options, an innovative organization focused on healthy youth development. Through uniting one-on-one mentoring with goal setting, physical activity, tutoring and leadership opportunities, the program builds conďŹ dence, maximizes potential and encourages healthy life skills in 7-17 year olds. Thompson is also known in his football career as the all-time leading rusher for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and ďŹ rst round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers. In addition to Bolder Options, he is a Gopher Game Day announcer for KFAN radio. Conference Sessions The conference will kick off with a district social hour and an opening address from Donna Moenning with the Center for Food Integrity. The evening social will be hosted by the MFBF Promotion & Education Committee. On Saturday morning, there will be three rounds of workshops ranging in topics from leadership, advocacy, education, policy and business. Saturday afternoon will have the â€œResource Courseâ€? for Promotion & Education resources. There will also be a conference wide service project, â€œWe Donâ€™t Eat Till the Kids Eat.â€? The Leadership Conference will also be the host to the preliminary rounds of the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet. Registration deadline is January 15. The conference will conclude on Saturday night following the leadership banquet and entertainment hosted by the MFBF YF&R Committee.
The Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Foundation announced the Imagination Stations â€“ My American Farm fundraising drive during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting in Bloomington. The Imagination Stations are My American Farm kiosks. My American Farm is a collective of online educational games developed by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The kiosks bring the farm to life on iPads for families to learn more about agriculture. The MFB Foundation raised $4,800 for the Imagination Stations during the auction held on Friday, November 20 during the MFBF Annual Meeting. The fundraising goal is to raise $15,000 in order to have 10 stations available for county Farm Bureaus to use at county fairs, Breakfast on the Farms, at Food Awareness events at grocery stores, in classrooms and at museums. The MFB Foundation has also received a grant from the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council in support of this project. To learn more, contact Ruth Meirick, MFB Foundation Director, at 651-768-2115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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is needed to maintain and build strong youth programs like FFA and 4-H and effective farm business management assistance for farmers. Strengthening farm safety education and training is also a priority area for Farm Bureau.
Education Agricultural education and ďŹ nding workable solutions for adequate funding are priorities for MFBF. Continued attention
Energy Minnesota farmers are key producers of vital renewable energy and highly dependent on reliable and affordable energy for their farms and homes. MFBF will join others to press for federal actions to honor Congressional intent for Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). Important land use and tax ramiďŹ cations will require attention as additional alternative energy projects take shape.
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Significant attention needs to be given to funding local roads and bridges.
Transportation MFBFâ€™s transportation emphasis will stress rural Minnesota transportation infrastructure needs being equitably addressed. SigniďŹ cant attention needs to be given to funding local roads and bridges without automatically implying tax increases as the solution. Bonding and a variety of other options need to be included.
Conference Details When: January 22-23 Time: Friday, 10 a.m. â€“ Saturday, 8:30 p.m. Where: Airport Hilton, Bloomington Who: All Farm Bureau members interested in topics pertaining to leadership development. Conference Cost: $100 per person (by January 8) $140 (January 9-22) Tour Cost: $25 per person includes a box lunch Hotel: $99 plus tax. Attendees must make own reservation. Scholarships: May be available through your county Farm Bureau Registration: Registration is due January 8 to MFBF, Leadership Conference, P.O. Box 64370, St. Paul, MN 55164. No refunds will be made after January 8. Registration includes meals and materials. Attendees need to make their own room reservations at the Airport Hilton at 952-854-2100 or goo.gl/gkmDiu. Brochures and conference information are available at your county Farm Bureau ofďŹ ce and at fbmn.org/pages/leadershipconference. For more information, contact Ruth Meirick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-768-2115.
Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Announces Imagination Stations â€“ My American Farm
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MINNEOTA FARMERS COOP ASSOC. 507-872-6182 www.farmerscoopassn.com
4A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
FARM BUREAU NEWS NOTES
n�Register for YF&R Discussion Meet The preliminary Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet will be on January 23 in conjunction with the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Leadership Conference in Bloomington. The 2016 YF&R Discussion Meet application is available at fbmn.org/pages/contests. Questions and references will be available following the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Meeting in January. Applications are due January 15. For more information, contact Ruth Meirick at 651-768-2115 or email@example.com. n�2016 YF&R Contest Deadlines There are three contests available for Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) (Farm Bureau members ages 18-35) to participate in. Check out fbmn.org/pages/contests for more information and the rules of each contest. • Discussion Meet: January 15 • Achievement Award Application: July 15 • Excellence in Agriculture Application: July 15 n�Accelerate Membership For 2016, we are accelerating membership with membership incentives. Volunteers who sign new members into their county Farm Bureau by these dates will receive a gift: • Sign 1 new member by January 1 • Sign 2 new members by February 2 • Sign 3 new members by
March 3 • Sign 4 new members by April 4 • Sign 5 new members by May 5 To qualify for Producers Club, sign five or more new members. Incentives will be given on an area by area basis this year. n�2016 Day on the Hill Farm Bureau members are encouraged to participate in the 2016 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 Capitol, to lobby legislators, witness legislative committees in action and possibly view a House or Senate floor session. • Tuesday, March 15 – Southwest, South Central and Southeast Areas • Tuesday, April 5 – Northwest, North, West Central and East Central Areas n�Food Awareness Month February is Food Awareness Month. Counties are encouraged to center their events around the topic of food-availability, how food is grown, giving to the food shelf, etc. Events can be held throughout the entire month, but counties should contact their local food shelves to see when the best time to give would be for them. Promotional pieces will be available for counties at the Leadership Conference at the end of January and will be inserted in the March issue of The Voice of Agriculture. To order additional copies, contact
Resolutions Committee THE MFBF RESOLUTIONS Commi�ee met on November 5 to review the policy resolu�ons submi�ed and approved by county Farm Bureaus in prepara�on for the Annual Mee�ng delegate session on November 20. The Resolu�ons Commi�ee is an important step in the process of grassroots policy development.
n�Bulletin Board Contest The Minnesota Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Committee is coordinating a Bulletin Board Contest for teachers across Minnesota. Forms can be found at www.fbmn.org. Teachers that participate will have the opportunity to win a “Farm a Month” book bundle. If you know a teacher that may be interested, share this contest with them. For questions, contact Ruth Meirick at 651-768-2115 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Pam Debele at email@example.com or 651-768-2117. n�Celebrating 30 Years of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation The Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Foundation Board of Directors and the MFB Promotion & Education Committee are proud to announce the celebration of 30 years of the MFB Foundation. As part of the celebration we are challenging counties to give a gift of $300 to be recognized as a “Golden County” or donate $10 per board member to be recognized as a “County Board Challenge” participant. Donors will be recognized in The Voice of Ag, on Facebook, at the Annual Meeting, in the MFB Foundation Annual Report (must receive by September 1) and on a permanent plaque at the MFB office. For more information, contact Ruth Meirick at 651-768-2115 or firstname.lastname@example.org. n�Food Science Fun Camp Got a day? Turn it into a Food Science Day Camp! The new My American Farm Food Science Fun guide contains 10 activities related to food science. These activities equip volunteers and professional educators with powerful tools for facilitating a food science day camp, or activities at a fair, other special event or in the classroom. The Food Science Fun guide can be downloaded agfoundation.org. n�Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Century Club Join the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Century Club, a fundraising campaign to commemorate the past and celebrate the future of the Minnesota Farm Bureau. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation Century Club recognizes individuals who donate $1,000 to the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation above any current giving. Century Club members will receive a Farm Bureau Century Club Pin,
be recognized at our 100th Minnesota Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in 2018 and be invited to a Foundation sponsored “Century Club Dinner.” Checks payable to the MFB Foundation. Donations may be mailed to: MFB Foundation, PO Box 64370, St. Paul, MN 55164. For more information, visit fbmn.org/pages/donate. n�Check Out the New Resources from American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has been creating new resources for agricultural education. Check out www.agfoundation.org to see the newest information. n�Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Book Bundles Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) announced new grade K-2 and 3-5 agriculture-themed children’s literature book bundles. Each 10-book bundle comes with a handy educator guide and is available for $100 plus tax and $10 shipping and handling. For more information or to order, contact Finney Company at 800-846-7027 or email@example.com. n�Farm Safety Trailers To use a farm safety trailer, contact one of the following: • West Otter Tail County Farm Bureau Contact: Bruce and Kim Brenden 218-867-2410 (home) 218-731-6559 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org
• Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Martin, McLeod, Nicollet, Sibley and Watonwan County Farm Bureaus Contact: Tim and Pam Uhlenkamp 507-326-5394 email@example.com n�Complete the Green Star Farms Self-Evaluation Today Help prevent duplicate and overburdensome regulations. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation 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 selfevaluation. 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 selfevaluation today. Go to greenstarfarms.org and click on “Getting Started.” For more information, contact Jeremy Geske at 612-756-1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. n�Nitrogen Management Conferences The Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) will host two Nutrient Management Conferences in 2016. The first will be held on February 9, 2016 at Jackpot Junction near Morton, and will focus on overall nutrient management research and issues. The second conferences will be held on February 23, 2016 at the International Event Center in Rochester and will focus on nitrogen management and water quality concerns. Go to the events page at www.mawrc.org for more information on programs and registration. These events are brought to you by the MAWRC along with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, University of Minnesota and other sponsors.
n�AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference Join Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) leaders from Minnesota at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) YF&R Conference, February 12-15, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. This interactive conference brings together leaders from at least 45 states. The leadership conference offers motivational speakers, mini-sessions, networking, entertainment and the Collegiate Discussion Meet competition. For registration information, contact Ruth Meirick at 651-768-2115 or email@example.com. Registrations are due January 25.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
n�January 1 • MFBF Office Closed n�January 8-13 • AFBF Annual Convention Orlando, FL n�January 15 • Discussion Meet Application Deadline
DelRay Johnson Anniversary
n�January 22 • MFBF Board Meeting
WEST CENTRAL AREA Program Director DelRay Johnson recently celebrated 25 years as an employee of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on �MFBF�. Congratula�ons to DelRay and thank you for your commitment to the Minnesota Farm Bureau. Pictured is Johnson with MFBF Execu�ve Director Chris Radat�.
n�January 22-23 • MFBF Leadership Conference Bloomington
n�February 9 • Council of County Presidents
n�February 12-15 • AFBF YF&R Conference Kansas City, MO
n�March 15 • Day on the Hill Southwest, South Central and Southeast Areas n�March 25 • MFBF Office Closed
n�February 22-25 • AFBF Advocacy Conference Washington, D.C.
n�April 5 • Day on the Hill West Central, East Central, Northwest and North Areas
n�March 8 • Minnesota Legislative Session Convenes
n�May 25 • MFBF Board Meeting
n�March 14 • MFBF Board Meeting
n�May 30 • MFBF Office Closed
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 5A
AGRI-BYTES ��IDEAg Team Honored for Excellence Congratulations to the IDEAg Team! The Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show was recently recognized at the Trade Show News Network awards in Atlanta as one of the top 25 fastest-growing shows in booth space and attendance for the past three years. “This is a testament to the great work that the IDEAg Group has done and will continue to do,” said Dan Durheim, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) executive director of industry affairs. IDEAg Group, LLC. is a division of the AFBF and also produces farm show events including Minnesota Farmfest, Dakotafest, Northern Illinois Farm Show, and the IDEAg Trade Show at AFBF Annual Convention.
YARD & GARDEN
��‘Farmland’ Lesson Plans Available Online The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance recently announced that four “Farmland” lesson plans are available at discoveringfarmland.com. The free science and social studies-based lesson plans were created in partnership with Discovery Education. Discovering Farmland provides high school students, educators and parents with standardsaligned lesson plans and interactive activities that explore concepts such as sustainability, technology and science. The new resources aim to
stimulate thoughtful conversations about the innovative use of technology on farms and how it has transformed the industry, challenges farmers face such as weather and growing conditions, common stereotypes around farmers and ranchers, and market supply and demand. ��Myth: Animal Agriculture is the Biggest Contributor to Antibiotic Resistance There are a lot of questions about antibiotics out there, which is why Meat MythCrushers created videos that let consumers hear from vets, farmers and professionals about how they handle these hard decisions. Meat MythCrushers was developed in consultation with some of the leading experts in the ﬁeld of meat and animal science, food safety and nutrition to provide consumers and media with the other side of the story — a side that often is overlooked in media reports and on the Internet. To view the videos, go to meatmythcrushers.com.
Ag C Take a Ride in the
n�The Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on recentl� announced the sale of the Ag Cab Lab program to Jeﬀ Beckman. n�To rent the exhibit for fairs or museums, contact Jeﬀ at 507-298-0191 or jeﬀ@aginspire.com.
Your 2016 Garden: Star�n� Seed� The catalogs have been coming in the mail, and people are already thinking about the upcoming gardening season. Seeds can be economical, offer a wide variety of plant options and a fun project for gardeners of all ages. Start by becoming familiar with best practices. The Extension publication, Starting Seeds Indoors, found at extension.umn.edu/garden/yardgarden/ﬂowers/starting-seedsindoors, covers all aspects of seed starting, including buying seed, types of growing media, how to sow seeds, light and heat requirements, watering, transplanting, etc. Timing seed starting is critical. Start seeds too early, and the plants can become spindly and weak. Start seeds too late, and you may not have a good harvest. Read the seed packets and start seeds at the appropriate time. In Minnesota, most seeds require 6-8 weeks of growing indoors before they can be transplanted outside after all danger of frost has passed. Standing in front of a seed display can be exciting - and overwhelming. Before heading to your local garden center, make a list of vegetables you like to eat. Some publications have lists of varieties that have proven to grow well in Minnesota gardens and have better disease resistance. If you are a ﬂower lover, the University of Minnesota annual ﬂower trials is a helpful resource for ﬁnding those varieties that performed well in locations around the state. Source: University of Minnesota Extension Yard & Garden News
CAN SAVE THE DAY. A lot can change in a year. And those changes can create gaps in your insurance. That’s why you need a Farm Bureau SuperCheck to help ensure you have the coverage you need when you need it. With a SuperCheck, your Farm Bureau agent can help: Identify gaps in your insurance coverage Get the discounts you deserve Provide peace of mind Call your Farm Bureau agent to schedule a SuperCheck today.
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6A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
HEALTH & WELLNESS Genomics and Heart Disease Having close biological relatives with heart disease can increase your risk of developing this disease. Family health history offers important information to help you and your family members understand health risks and prevent disease. Sharing this information with your doctor can help to inform the screening approach that is best for you. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and a major cause of disability in the United States. More than 600,000 Americans die of heart disease annually. This represents almost 25 percent of all deaths in the United States. To raise awareness of this disease, February has been recognized as “American Heart Month” since 1963. Some medical conditions (such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes) and lifestyle factors (such as an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol or tobacco use) can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Having close biological relatives with heart disease can also increase your risk of developing heart disease and can affect what screening is recommended for you and when. Collecting and Understanding Your Family History Your family history holds key information about your past and clues to your future health. Many of your physical traits (such as eye color, hair color, and height) are inherited. So, too, are risks for certain genetic conditions and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. You may have noticed that some of your relatives are healthier and live longer than other relatives. You may also have noticed that some relatives have the same health problems. By collecting your family’s health history, you can learn what health problems you may be at increased risk for in the future, and how to reduce your risks. For instance, people at increased risk for heart disease may be able to reduce their risk through not smoking, regular exercise and diet. Finding out your family history can beneﬁt both you and your relatives… and it can be fun too! How to Collect Your Family History You can collect your family history by talking to your relatives. Start with your parents if they are living. Older relatives are often good sources of information. Some relatives may not want to share their medical histories, or they may not know their family history. However, whatever information you discover will be helpful. Vacations, holidays and family reunions can be good times to collect this information. As each generation ages, important information can be forgotten or lost – so now is the time to start your project! If you are adopted, you may be able to learn some of your family history through the parent(s) that adopted you or from adoption agency records. Additional Sources of Information Check whether your family has existing family trees, charts or listings of family members. Information may be recorded in baby books, birthday date books or a family Bible. Medical records are very helpful and typically require that you submit requests to hospitals or clinics, in writing. Birth and death certiﬁcates often provide
helpful information, and you can call the county clerk ofﬁce where you live to ﬁnd out how to get copies of these records. Other helpful documents include military records, yearbooks (photographs can help in providing physical descriptions of individuals) and obituaries. How to Record Your Family History One way to record a family history is by drawing a family tree called a “pedigree.” You can also create and keep a written list of this information without drawing a pedigree. Either way, begin by writing down the medical and health information on: Yourself Your brothers and sisters Your children Your parents Then go back a generation at a time. Include: Nieces and nephews Aunts and uncles Grandparents Cousins For each relative, try to write down as many of these items as possible: Age or date of birth (and, for all family members who have passed on, age at death and cause of death). When the information is unavailable, write down your best guess (for example, “40s”). Medical problems, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, mental illness, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, alcoholism and others. Note the ages at which the conditions occurred. Did Uncle Pete have his heart attack at age 42 or age 88? Did your mother develop diabetes in childhood or as an adult? Birth defects such as spina biﬁda, cleft lip, heart defects, others Learning problems, intellectual disabilities Vision loss/hearing loss at a young age (remember to record the age it began) For family members with known medical problems, jot down if they smoked, their diet and exercise habits, and if they were overweight. (For example, you could note that your brother John, who had a heart attack at age 40, weighs 300 pounds and smokes two packs a day). After you draw your family tree, above your mother’s side of the family tree write down where her family members came from (for example, England, Germany, Africa etc.); then do the same for your father’s side of the family. This information can be helpful because some genetic health problems occur more often in speciﬁc ethnic groups. What to do After you have Completed your Family Tree You should keep your family tree in a safe place and update it every couple of years (or update it at a regular family gathering, such as Thanksgiving). You can share a copy with your doctor, who may ﬁnd it helpful in caring for your health. If you have concerns about your family history, you may wish to see a genetic counselor. Source: Center for Disease Control and National Society of Genetic Counselors
Farm Bureau flag photo
Mower County Ag in the Classroom MOWER COUNTY FARM Bureau visited Lyle Elementary School for their annual Agriculture in the Classroom visits, teaching students about farmers and the food, ﬁber and fuel they grow and raise every day. Students wrote thank you cards that were submi�ed to the American Farm Bureau Founda�on for Agriculture and sent to farmers across the country. Photo by Ka�e Brenny
discover! MINNESOTA Ice Castles December 26-March 5 Eden Prairie icecastles.com/ep 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. Snowshoe Along the Creek January 9 Battle Lake dnr.state.mn.us Grab your snowshoes or use a pair of ours and come see the park in the winter. We will hike towards Horse Pasture Slough to see if the creek is open, where you might get a glimpse of trumpeter swans or maybe some otters, ducks and geese. Join the naturalist for this winter adventure from 1-3 p.m. Icefest January 9-10 Breezy Point breezypointresort.com Outdoor activities abound, from cross-country skiing to ice skating and everything in between. Murder Mystery Dinner at Carlos Creek Winery January 16 Alexandria carloscreekwinery.com A gourmet 4-course meal with a theme inspired menu interspersed with a little mayhem! These wildly popular evenings always sell-out, so buy your tickets early. Theme inspired dress is encouraged, but not required. In the Park after Dark January 21 and February 18 St. Anthony threeriversparks.org Discover the fascinating things outside when the sun goes down. Explore activities related to the night sky, night hiking and campfires. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. $5. 7-8:30 p.m. Freeze Fest Winter Extravaganza February 6 Perham perham.com Activities include breakfast, Freeze Your Face 5K Run, Fishing Tournament and culminating with a “Freezin for a Reason” Polar Plunge. Lake Maria State Park Candlelight Snowshoe February 13 Monticello nstt.org Snowshoe/walk with family, friends and neighbors on trails throughout this beautiful state park. Event hours are 3-9 p.m. Luminaries will be lit at dusk. The event is sanctioned for 5 km (3 miles) and consists of two overlapping loops of 2.5K each. Level ground, appropriate for winter strollers. Traveling Together February 14 Bemidji bemidjisymphony.org Right on time for Valentine’s Day! The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra (BSO) presents “Traveling Together,” with the lush and elaborate music of baroque composers, and featuring outstanding BSO musicians in duets. Dr. Beverly Everett conducts. Foodie Throwdown February 27 Austin hormelhistorichome.org Local chefs compete to create amazing dishes according to the specified theme for the year, while attendees vote on their favorite. Social Hour begins at 6 p.m. Sampling of the food at 7 p.m. Entertainment provided by Reminisce. Tickets are $30. For more information on these and other events, log onto exploreminnesota.com. Submit your community event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 651-768-2159.
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 7A
2015 MANAGEMENT REPORT I
t is my pleasure and honor to present the management report to the 97th Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting Voting Delegate session. I would like to recognize and acknowledge the efforts, dedication, hard work and passion for Farm Bureau and all of Minnesota agriculture of the MFBF staff: Administrative and Financial Team – Kim Oakes, executive assistant, 29 years; Dave Johnson, director of operations, chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer, 3 years; Lori Wiegand, accounting associate, 11 years; Organization Team – area program directors: Katie Brenny, southeast region, 3 years; James Dodds, north region, 15 years; DelRay Johnson, west central region, 25 years; Riley Maanum, northwest region, 3 years; Amanda Revier, southwest region, 10 years; Dennis Sabel, east central region, 30 years; Yvonne Simon, south central region, 3 years; Judy Pilcher, administrative assistant, providing Organization Team, Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) and Promotion & Education (P&E) state committee support, 18 years; Public Policy Team – Doug Busselman, director, 37 years; Amber Hanson, associate director, 4 years; Michelle DeGeest, administrative assistant, providing Public Policy Team and Foundation support, 2 years; Public Relations Team – Kristin Harner, director, 14 years; Pam Debele, communications specialist, 5 years; Foundation, YF&R and P&E state committees – Ruth Meirick, director, 18 years. We are very fortunate to have an experienced, stable staff at MFBF. I am proud to be able to work with them! The MFBF Board of Directors approved the updated MFBF Strategic Plan at their September Board meeting. Resources was added to Policy, Image and Leadership as the cornerstones that guide our day-to-day activities and our long-range planning. These cornerstones are highlighted in the MFBF Annual Review (Section B of this issue). A copy of each can be found at fbmn.org. Additional copies are available for you and your local Farm Bureau use.
Chris Radatz Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Executive Director November 20, 2015
Policy – MFBF will advocate the policies developed by our members. Policy Development, Policy Implementation and Political Action are
all important cogs in our legislative and regulatory advocacy activities. Hundreds of Farm Bureau member families across the state participated in issue discussion meetings as a part of the policy development process leading up to county annual meetings and resulting in policy recommendations being submitted for discussion today. With the completion of your work here, setting our public policy for 2016, and the MFBF Board of Directors setting our legislative focus areas on Sunday, the stage will be set for our legislative and regulatory activities for the coming year. The effectiveness of our public policy efforts continues to grow, due in large part to the participation of you and Farm Bureau members across the state and nation. One concrete example of this participation occurred in October of this year regarding crop insurance. We learned Congress’ initial budget deal contained cuts to crop insurance. Our Action Alert Center was activated, and in the 24 hours it was active, 411 messages were sent to all 10 Minnesota Congressional ofﬁces. Congress reached an agreement to strike the proposed $3 billion crop insurance cuts and assurances were reached to not reopen
to the voting delegates the current Farm Bill.
Leadership – MFBF will recognize, empower, and engage our members In January, nearly 300 Farm Bureau members gathered in Red Wing to learn about trends in agriculture, gain tools to enhance leadership and professional development and network with other members. A special feature this year was packing 10,800 meals for the Red Wing Area Food Shelf. The 2016 Leadership Conference “Accelerate, Learn, Live, Lead” will be held January 22-23 in Bloomington. This year’s conference is designed to provide leadership training for all Farm Bureau members. In the coming year, area program directors will be leading localized, focused education opportunities for Farm Bureau leaders on topics such as working with our membership database system, county Farm Bureau governance, policy development and effectively sharing the Farm Bureau and agriculture story. Image – MFBF will enhance and strengthen its proﬁle. County Farm Bureaus continue to do a stellar job in implementing local projects focused on putting a face on farming, interacting with students of all ages and reaching out to consumers. Financial assistance for this programming is available from two statewide grant programs MFB offers, the Agricultural Promotion Grants and Ignite Grants. Local Farm Bureaus leveraged an additional $3 for each dollar received from these grant programs resulting in over 187,000 direct and indirect contacts. Some of these grant projects included eight community showings of the documentary Farmland. Speak for Yourself has 63 trained speakers who have made over 300 presentations at local community organizations and high school classrooms, reaching a direct audience of over 10,000 people and when including media coverage nearly three million people.
The MFBF website navigation has been simpliﬁed and enhanced in several areas. The home page is reorganized, more resource pages have been added, and it has a new Public Policy Resource Center. Value of Membership videos were posted on YouTube and also used on our website and social media sites. These videos feature members telling their story on the importance of belonging to Farm Bureau, and what they do on their farm to support Farmers • Families • Food. Farmfest 2015 was a huge success with record shattering exhibitor and attendance numbers. Farmfest is the third largest outdoor agriculture show in the country. Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) continued its sole sponsorship of the Farmfest Media Center. Resources – MFBF will support long-term ﬁnancial stability at the county and state level. The 2015 membership year ended with a total statewide membership of 29,322, a growth of 862 members statewide. This is the second largest one-year growth we have had in the last 21 years. Voting membership grew by 134 members. We earned the AFBF Navigator Award for the second consecutive year with a 3 percent total membership growth. Aggressive membership goals were established for the 2015 membership year. I am proud to report many of you responded by successfully meeting those goals – 30 county/regional Farm Bureaus had a total growth of 4 percent or more and 38 county/regional Farm Bureaus had a growth of 5 or more voting members. These accomplishments were the result of a lot of hard work by all members of the Farm Bureau Team in Minnesota: our farmer leaders, the FBFS force and our staff. At the Producers Club “Celebration” and at the Awards Banquet, we will recognize 54 farmer leaders for signing ﬁve or more new members during the 2015 membership year. I challenge all of us to be a member of the Producers Club in 2016. The partnership we have with 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. I see that partnership at
REPORT TO 8A }
Elected and Appointed Ofcials 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 19-21. “We were very pleased to have a number of elected and appointed ofﬁcials join us at Minnesota Farm Bureau’s 97th Annual Meeting,” said MFBF President Kevin Paap. “Their attendance demonstrates the importance of their connections with Farm Bureau members, and the opportunity to highlight the issues that they are working to address on our behalf.” Congressman Walz addressed members at noon on Friday, and SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR and Senator Al Franken Congressman Peterson addressed Farm Bureau members at the Awards Banquet spoke to members on on Friday night of the MFBF Annual Mee�ng. Prior to the banquet, they talked with FFA State President PJ Aarsvold Saturday noon. Both drew attention to important and Princess Kay of the Milky Way Kyla Mauk. issues that have been
priority areas for farmers such as crop insurance and Waters of the United States (WOTUS). Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken addressed Farm Bureau members at the Friday evening banquet providing Farm Bureau members with an update on crop insurance, Renewable Fuels Standard and transportation funding. Governor Dayton spoke to members on Saturday noon. Meeting with Farm Bureau members at the Friday legislative reception were state Senators Gary Dahms, David Osmek, Bruce Anderson, Eric Pratt and Representatives Jeff Backer, Kelly Fenton, Ron Erhardt, Clark Johnson, Tom Hackbarth, Deb Kiel, Rod Hamilton, Jim Nash, Bob Vogel, Ben Lien, Tim Miller, Dennis Smith and Brian Johnson. Also attending Friday evening functions were representatives of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture including Commissioner Dave Frederickson.
CONGRESSMAN COLLIN PETERSON spoke about current issues in Washington D.C. at the Saturday luncheon of the MFBF Annual Mee�ng.
8A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org t REPORT FROM 7A
the local level as well, with FBFS represented at many county Farm Bureau annual meetings and activities. I encourage you and your county board to sit down with your local FBFS staff to develop and implement a plan to grow membership and Farm Bureau insurance in your area. 19 FBFS agents will be recognized for signing 48 or more new Farm Bureau members during 2015. These 19 agents signed over 1,300 new members. The goal of our member beneﬁt programs is to provide needed programs and services at a reduced cost to members, adding value to the investment made in a Farm Bureau membership. Farm Bureau member families in Minnesota have received over $1 million in savings during 2015 so far by using the following member beneﬁt partners programs and services: GM, Case IH, Polaris, Avis Car Rental, Choice Hotels, Valleyfair tickets, ScriptSave, Life Line Screening, Farm Bureau Bank, Grainger, TASC and Wyndham Hotel Group. Cash discounts on certain lines of Caterpillar equipment and stays at IHG hotel properties such as Holiday Inn have been added to our member beneﬁts line up. $10,000 in Accidental Death claims have been paid so far this year. Our largest member beneﬁt partner, FBFS, continues to be a market leader in insuring agriculture property in Minnesota and the nation. They offer a full line of ﬁnancial services products from insuring property and lives to estate and retirement planning. The MFB Foundation is growing! We are able to support additional Federation activities with the ﬁnancial assistance of the Foundation. The Agricultural Promotion Grant Program is 100 percent funded by the Foundation. This year the MFB Foundation will be awarding Paul Stark Memorial Scholarships in addition to the Al Christopherson Scholarships. There are now seven Century Club members and six more pacesetters who have pledged to attain the Century Club. 40 county/regional Farm Bureaus participated in the MFB Foundation County Board challenge, a 54 percent increase over last year. Voting delegates at last year’s voting delegate session donated over $3,000 in mileage reimbursement to the Foundation. Collegiate visits were held in an effort to expose college age students to the opportunities of participating in our YF&R programs. Over 300 students at four colleges attended these events. The Collegiate Discussion Meet has grown this year. 19 students from four campuses participated this year compared to three students from one campus last year. Hundreds of teachers stopped by our booth at the Education Minnesota Conference and picked up Food and Farm Facts guides and other materials about agriculture. Ag in the Classroom visits were completed in 20 classrooms by the state P&E Committee this year compared to 14 last year. County and regional Farm Bureaus completed many other classroom visits throughout the year. Thank you to all who have
supported the MFB Foundation. The county and AFBF Awards of Excellence programs are valuable tools in planning programming and activities for the coming year. They also provide recognition for a job well done. 42 county and regional Farm Bureaus will be recognized at the Awards Banquet tonight for outstanding programming and activities in the following areas: Public Policy, Public Relations, Promotion and Education Activities, Leadership Development and Membership Initiatives. MFBF will be recognized at the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting for outstanding programs and activities in all six AFBF Awards of Excellence category areas for the third 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. 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 2016 an even bigger success than 2015.
Photo submi�ed by Ashley Kohls
Bakken Represents Farmers and Ranchers ROCK COUNTY FARM Bureau President Pete Bakken (back, second from le�) represented Minnesota Farm Bureau and Minnesota ca�le farmers�ranchers at the Canadian �estern Agribi�on in Canada. Farmers and ranchers from Minnesota, Colorado, Montana and Nebraska met with their Canadian counterpoints through this program organized by the Canadian Consulates in Minneapolis and Denver and the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Associa�on. Discussion topics focused on the integra�on of meat and livestock industries, sustainability and innova�on, intergenera�onal succession planning and key trade issues, such as U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
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JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 9A
2015 ANNUAL MEETING
awards • scholarships • events
DR. JIM ORF
n�Distinguished Service to Agriculture DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO Agriculture awards are selected for their dis�nguished service to the organiza�on, community and agriculture. The recipients this year were Jim Ertl, Dr. Jim Orf and Al Withers.
n�Paul Stark Memorial Scholarship THIS YEAR, THE Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on presented its ﬁrst two $500 Paul Stark Memorial Scholarships to college freshmen or sophomores. This year’s recipients were Rebekah Aanerud-Stevens County and Abbey Weninger-Wright County.
n�Collegiate Discussion Meet n�Breakout Sessions AS PART OF the 97th MFBF Annual Mee�ng, par�cipants a�ended a session on “What do Farm Bureau Members Need to Know about the Economy?” presented by Dr. Bob Young of the American Farm Bureau Federa�on. Other breakout sessions included “Farm Bureau Members Making a Diﬀerence on Local Issues” and “Telling the Conserva�on Story.”
VERNE AND WILMA DEEN LONG, PIPESTONE
n�Honorary Life Members
THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Federa�on held their 11th annual Collegiate Discussion Meet at the 97th MFBF Annual Mee�ng on November 21. Undergraduate students �ualiﬁed at regional compe��ons held at South Central College – Mankato, Southwest Minnesota State University – Marshall, Ridgewater College – Willmar and University of Minnesota – Twin Ci�es. This year’s winner was Ethan Dado from the University of Minnesota – Twin Ci�es. The runner-up was Ka�e Schmi� a�ending the University of Minnesota – Twin Ci�es. The state winner and runner-up advance to the American Farm Bureau Federa�on’s �AFBF� Young Farmers & Ranchers �YF&R� Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, February 12-15, 2016 to par�cipate in the na�onal compe��on. Thank you to contest sponsors Christensen Farms and Gislason & Hunter. Pictured le� to right are the Collegiate Discussion Meet Finalists: Dru Leiding, South Central College; Ka�e Schmi�, University of Minnesota; Ethan Dado, University of Minnesota; and Savannah Zippel, South Central College.
MARVIN JOHNSON, HENNEPIN
ROBERT AND LINDA HOLMGREN, MORRISON
HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP is presented to honorees selected for their dis�nguished service to Farm Bureau, their community and agriculture.
10A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Founda�on recognized and awarded outstanding agricultural professionals during the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s Annual Mee�ng. Awarded Ag Communicator of the Year—Courtnay Doyle, Extension Educator of the Year—Nathan Winter, FFA Advisor of the Year—Brad Harguth, and Post-Secondary Educator of the Year—Don Hermanson.
n�Ag Communicator of the Year
n�Extension Educator of the Year
Photo by Ruth Meirick
n�Minnesota Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom
FARM BUREAU MEMBERS a�ending the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on �MFBF� Annual Mee�ng November 19-21 in Bloomington par�cipated in Agriculture in the Classroom ac�vi�es at local elementary schools. The MFBF Promo�on and Educa�on Commi�ee in conjunc�on with the MFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Commi�ee and county Farm Bureau leaders worked with ﬁrst, third and fourth graders in Poplar Bridge Elementary and Washburn Elementary Schools in Minneapolis. The 24 leaders read “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” 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 and apples for the project.
n�FFA Advisor of the Year
n�Post Secondary Educator of the Year
Producers Club recognizes volunteer leaders who signed at least ﬁve new members to the Farm Bureau organiza�on in the past year. Congratula�ons to these 54 individuals for helping grow Farm Bureau. Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ
Keith Allen, Goodhue County Bernard Aronson, Lincoln County Greg Bartz, Brown County Bruce Brenden, W. O�er Tail County Ted Brenny, Goodhue County Ben Brutlag, Grant County Cynthie Christensen, Houston County Dean Christopherson, Nobles County Nathan Collins, Swi� County Gary Douce�e, Crow Wing County
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Jason Edwards, Nobles County David Engelbrecht, Watonwan County Bob Fritz, Pipestone County J. David Fruechte, Lincoln County John Gilbertson, Sr., Beltrami County Theresia Gillie, Ki�son County Daniel Glessing, Wright County Tom Griebel, Pipestone County Melinda Groth, Fillmore County Michael Gunderson, Mahnomen County
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Ashley Harguth, Waseca County Pete Henslin, Dodge County Jerome Holker, Big Stone County Jeﬀ Huelsnitz, Waseca County Dave Johnson, Rice County Rolland Johnson, Lincoln County Fred Keller, Wabasha County Glenn Krog, Lincoln County Rochelle Krusemark, Mar�n County Miles Kuschel, Cass County Larry Larson, Mower County Sara Larson, Waseca County Douglas Lawrence, Anoka County Mark Maiers, Sibley County Joel Mathiowetz, Redwood County TaLana Mathiowetz, Redwood County Fran Miron, WashingtonRamsey County Kristy Miron, WashingtonRamsey County Hannah Molitor, Stearns County Ronald Nelson, Chisago County Craig Nord, Goodhue County Carolyn Olson, Lyon County Kevin Paap, Blue Earth County Jeﬀ Pagel, Olmsted County Howard Prushek, Arrowhead Regional Chris Radatz, Sco� County Brian Randolph, Dakota County Anthony Reese, Dodge County Robert Roelofs, Blue Earth County Douglas Schultz, Nicollet County Amanda Tank, Dodge County Joyce Welander, Washington-Ramsey County Sco� Winslow, Fillmore County Roger Zastrow, Todd County
n�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 Williams-Lyon County; Erin Larson-Waseca County; Rebecca Church-Washington-Ramsey County and Ka�e Schmi�Benton County.
n�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 includes Dan Pumper, Duane Kriener, Monte Dufault, Paul Chapman, Lubbuu Goobanaa, Sco� Evans and Roger Punt. The Builders Club recognizes FBFS agents who have signed 48 or more new members during 2015. This year’s Builders Club includes Zach Gerdes, Kazoua Xiong, Nicole Vue, Bruce Vanderpool, Misty Servaty, Ryan Elbert, Jesse Olson, Marcus Seifert, Jus�n Mundt, Steve Demarais, Kevin Christoﬀers and Edward Fisher.
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 11A
YOUNG FARMERS & RANCHERS AWARDS
MIKE MIRON, WASHINGTON-RAMSEY
BEN STORM, OLMSTED
n�Excellence in Agriculture
AMANDA DUROW, KATIE WINSLOW, KATIE MIRON, JOE SULLIVAN
THE 2015 DISCUSSION Meet winner is Ka�e Miron of Hugo in Washington-Ramsey County. She is an agricultural educator and FFA advisor at the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture in Vadnais Heights. Other ﬁnalists in the Discussion Meet were Amanda Durow of Dakota County, Ka�e Winslow of Fillmore County, Miron and Joe Sullivan of Renville County.
THE 2015 ACHIEVEMENT Award winner is Ben Storm of Olmsted County. Ben raises market hogs and grows corn and soybeans on his family farm near Dover. The Achievement Award runner-up was Ma� Feldmeier from Rushford in Houston County.
n�Retiring Board Members
THE 2015 EXCELLENCE in Agriculture Award winner was Mike Miron of WashingtonRamsey County. Mike is a high school agricultural educa�on instructor and FFA advisor at Forest Lake High School. The runner-ups were Sco� and Samantha Runge from St. James in Watonwan County.
TALANA MATHIOWETZ OF Redwood County, Larry Larson of Mower County, Kristy Miron of Washington-Ramsey County and John Gilbertson of Beltrami County were recognized as re�ring Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on �MFBF� board members at the MFBF Annual Mee�ng in Bloomington on November 20.
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Vehicle shown with optional accessories. WARNING: The Polaris RANGER® 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. ©2014 Polaris Industries Inc.
12A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
n�County Awards of Excellence THE PRESIDENT’S AWARD of Exemplary Achievement is the most pres�gious of all county �innesota �arm 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, leadership development and membership ini�a�ves. The award was presented to Crow Wing County for public policy. The award was presented to Watonwan County for promo�on and educa�on. In the county membership group of 201-450 total members, the award was presented to Dodge County for public rela�ons,
leadership development and membership ini�a�ves. The award was presented to Steele County for public policy and promo�on and educa�on. In the county membership group of over 450 total members, the award was presented to Waseca County for promo�on and educa�on and membership ini�a�ves. The award was presented to Winona County for public policy, public rela�ons and leadership development. Accep�ng the awards were Watonwan County President David Engelbrecht, Crow Wing County President Rosanne Caughey, Cass County (now) President Greg Booth, Dodge County President Anthony Reese, Steele County Secretary/Treasurer Brian Kanne, Waseca County President Steve Schoenfeld and Winona County President Glen Groth.
n�Keynote Speaker MATT RUSH, FORMER execu�ve vice president of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau, provided an inspiring message to Farm Bureau th members during the 97 Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on Annual Mee�ng. Rush shared his experiences of living and working on the family farm and how farmers need to be viable, valuable and visible.
n�Golden Plow Recognition CONTINUING GOLDEN PLOW members were recognized at the Producers Club banquet at the 2015 MFBF Annual Mee�ng. Golden Plow members have signed 100 new members in 10 years. Con�nuing Golden Plow members include Joyce WelanderWashington-Ramsey County, MFBF President Kevin Paap-Blue Earth County, Bob Fritz-Pipestone County, Sco� Winslow-Fillmore County, Dean Christopherson-Nobles County, Larry Larson-Mower County, John Gilbertson, Sr.-Beltrami County and Ron NelsonChisago County. Ron Nelson was also recognized as a Con�nuing Diamond member for signing 250 members in 10 years.
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JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 13A
Photo by Amanda Revier
Minnesota Farm Bureau Supports Hunger Initiatives in Minnesota DURING THE MFBF Annual Mee�ng, a�endees conducted a service pro�ect for Second Harvest Heartland with 25 volunteers packing 13,071 pounds of apples and squash and assisted with labeling. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Founda�on also presented a dona�on to Second Harvest Heartland for $3,300. The funds were raised
during the 2015 MFBF Leadership Conference by par�cipants who held an auc�on and a district challenge to “Feed the Pig” piggy banks. Throughout the year, farmers and ranchers across the na�on donate food, funds and people power to create a hunger-free America.
Foundation Donors SUPPORTERS OF THE Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Founda�on at the Benefactor’s Society level received recogni�on at MFB’s 97th Annual Mee�ng on November 20 in Bloomington. Pictured are Staci Mar�n, AgStar Financial Services� Keith Schrader, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promo�on Council� and Noah Hultgren, Minnesota Corn Growers Associa�on.
Foundation Auction THE ANNUAL MINNESOTA Farm Bureau Founda�on live auc�on was held following the awards banquet at the MFBF Annual Mee�ng. Aitkin through McLeod County Farm Bureaus and leaders throughout the state donated items to be auc�oned o� as a fundraiser for agricultural educa�on, safety educa�on, leadership development programs and the newest Founda�on program, the My American Farm Imagina�on Sta�ons. Pictured are �ean �inslow-Fillmore County, TaLana Mathiowet�Redwood County and Mark Maiers-Sibley County with the county fair grand champion quilt hand quilted by Theresa Pearson and donated by Kanabec-Isan� County Farm Bureau. The auc�on raised nearly $14,700 this year.
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14A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
PROMOTION & EDUCATION
Leadership, AITC, Farm Safety Hometown: Stewart Family: My wife, Cindy, is a music teacher at the Hutchinson Middle School and teaches band to 6th-8th graders. We have been married for nearly 25 years. We have two daughters and a son. Our two daughters are Wilson and Payton. Wilson is a police ofﬁcer for the city of Hutchinson, and Payton is attending Bethel University working towards a business degree. Our son Hudson, is a senior at Hutchinson High School. Education: I graduated from Stewart Public High School and furthered my education at Southwest State University in Marshall receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, with an emphasis in agricultural business. I am a graduate of the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) program. Farm Description: We are a cash crop farm growing corn, soybeans, sweet corn and sweet peas. Innovative Farming Methods: I think the most innovative farming practice that we are involved with is our partnership with our neighbor. It is not all glamorous or tech ﬁlled, even though we use all the gadgets like GPS, Yield Monitoring, Swath Control, Auto Trac and Variable Rate Application. In 1994, we decided to work together to plant, care for and
harvest our crops. Over time, we took two lines of equipment and condensed them into one, that was newer and more efﬁcient. Land that was operated by one, is now operated together. We built up a company to own our grain hauling and storage equipment. This again allowed us to have something better and more modern than we could have had on our own. The need for extra helped started us on this journey, but the art of compromise and a willingness to work together is what has made us successful. Hobbies: Snowmobiling, downhill skiing, hiking, water skiing, wakeboarding and music. Why I got involved with P&E? Because Anne Marie, my area program director at that time, asked me. Success at any level, usually comes down to asking the right question. I also believe in the cooperative process of working together to reach a set of goals, and I feel that Farm Bureau provides a strong platform to do this. Dates to Remember: January 8 – MFBF Leadership Conference Registration Deadline; January 22-24 – Leadership Conference at Hilton Airport, Bloomington; February – Food Awareness Month; Agriculture Safety Awareness Program Week (ASAP) – March 1-7; March 15 – National Agriculture Day
While I was reﬂecting on our recent Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting, I am reminded of the many hardworking staff members, committee members and members throughout the state that we are so very blessed to have in this organization. The energy, ideas and the overwhelming desire to succeed, that all our members share, brings much strength and value to our members at large. We have lots to be thankful for during this Holiday Season, and I am excited to look forward to the future of what we can accomplish together. As the new chair of the state Promotion and Education (P&E) Committee, I have the opportunity to help guide this great group of volunteers and also the chance to learn more about the inner workings of our organization while sitting on the state board. With this responsibility comes much excitement and a little fear of the unknown challenges that lie ahead.
MARK MAIERS STATE P&E COMMITTEE CHAIR
Based upon our discussions at the annual meeting, our P&E Committee will be focusing on the following areas. Leadership - When we accept the appointment to this committee, it is expected that we will take on a greater role in our counties, our districts and also on the committee as we serve to promote and educate those we encounter about agriculture. I feel one of our committee’s goals is to take a more active role in planning and implementing these activities during the year. Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) - During this year’s MFBF Annual Meeting, we had the opportunity to visit seven different classrooms in two metro schools. Sue Knott, who works for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture AITC program, presented the materials to the volunteers. We shared the story “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” with 3rd and 4th graders at Washburn and Poplar Bridge Elementary Schools. Twenty four Farm Bureau volunteers helped tell the story of agriculture to these young people. The students and teachers enjoyed our visit and the activities that we shared with them. We left an apple with each student for their snack time later that day. I strongly encourage you to give ag in the classroom a try, if you have never been able to in the past. It is fun and very rewarding. Farm Safety - Another important topic for our committee is farm safety. We put together “safety bags” at this year’s annual meeting and distributed them to attendees. We would like to thank our many supporters of Farm Bureau who donated items for these bags. We looked for items that would help draw attention to the normal day things that can easily get forgotten or go unnoticed. Simple things like sunscreen and hearing protection to reminders to farmers of the dangers of ﬂowing grain and power take offs. Also included were a pocket size ﬂashlight and dust mask, which are two OSHA requirements for a safe work environment. Please don’t take your safety for granted. In closing, I would like to invite you to our upcoming MFBF Leadership Conference on January 22-23, 2016. This year’s conference will be held at the Hilton MSP Airport Hotel in Bloomington. Our theme this year is “Accelerate – Learn, Live, Lead.” Hope to see you there, and thank you for being involved in your Farm Bureau.
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 15A
Capitol Corner DOUG BUSSELMAN • Director of Public Policy
AMBER HANSON • 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 www.fbmn.org
STATE NEWS n�Your Involvement Needed - Policy Implementation Farm Bureau member involvement is extremely important in bringing the concepts of the Farm Bureau Policy Book to reality. Without this engagement it simply isn’t possible to accomplish many of the things on our “To Do” list. The 2016 Minnesota Legislative Session will be a signiﬁcant venue for attention with many of Farm Bureau’s 2016 Areas of Focus (see page 1). Farm Bureau Days on the Hill are scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 and Tuesday, April 5. These events offer the ability for constituents to hold their state legislators accountable to resolving identiﬁed problems. Because of the delayed start for the 2016 Minnesota Legislature, there will also be ideal chances to hold pre-session meetings with legislators while they are still in the home district. County Farm Bureaus are encouraged to host town hall meetings as forums to interact with Minnesota House and Senate members before they head off to St. Paul. n�Town Hall Call-In Meetings Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) will again host regularly scheduled call-in “town hall meetings.” MFBF’s Public Policy Team will host the calls, offer informational updates, answer questions from participating members as well as receive input on issues from members. Town Hall call-ins are intended to reach Farm Bureau members who aren’t on email lists, receiving frequent legislative details through the weekly e-newsletter Impact or contacted for “Action Requests.” The 2016 telephone town hall meetings will begin at noon on Friday, February 19. The
conference call in number to use is 1-888-354-0094 and the conference ID is 6589665#. When the 2016 Legislative Session begins on March 8, there will be a shift in the every-other-Friday schedule, with the second call-in planned to take place on Friday, March 11 at noon and then follow the every-other-Friday routine to hold the third meeting on Friday, March 25. Calls are also recorded so playback is an option for those who might miss the call-in. Contact Michelle DeGeest at michelle.degeest@fbmn or 651768-2151. To reach other Public Policy Team members contact: Amber Hanson at email@example.com or 651-768-2103 on national issues or Doug Busselman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-760-7237 on state issues.
NATIONAL ISSUES n�Omnibus Appropriations The ﬁscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations, introduced in the early morning hours of December 16, is moving its way through Congress at the time of this printing. For current updates on the outcome of this legislation, visit fbmn.org/pages/public-policy and to sign up for the weekly Impact legislative update. The omnibus bill provides $1.149 trillion in funding for FY 2016. Agriculture received $21.75 billion in discretionary funding, which is $925 million above last year’s funding and $34 million below the President’s budget request. Some key funding levels are as follows: • The bill includes $894.4 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This includes $3 million for avian inﬂuenza assistance; • $552,000 was included for the Agriculture in the Classroom program; • $850.8 million for
Your Conservation Story Needed!
conservation programs; • $36.8 billion for the Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program; • $1.5 billion for the Food for Peace program and $201 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program; and • $2.94 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The bill also provides $32.159 billion in discretionary funding for interior and environment appropriations which is $1.7 billion above FY 2015 and $1.1 billion below the president’s request. In addition to the funding levels set in the 2016 bill, many policy riders affecting agriculture were included. • Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork were repealed following the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling that the provisions violated WTO trade rules. Canada and Mexico are currently in the process of gaining ﬁnal approval to impose more than $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs. A bill calling for repeal that passed in the House earlier this summer would have repealed COOL requirements for chickens as well, but that was no included in the omnibus language. Farm Bureau supports this repeal as our policy supports COOL requirements as long as they are
GAO Legal Opinion Finds EPA Violated Law Regarding WOTUS Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation “A legal opinion today by the U.S. Government Accountability Ofﬁce (GAO) ﬁnds that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law with its social media and grassroots lobbying campaign advocating for its own Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. It’s clear from this report that EPA orchestrated this matter in a biased fashion. Now it’s up to Congress to clean up this mess by including a corrective measure in the omnibus bill now taking shape on Capitol Hill.” “Courts already have declared serious doubts about the legal authority for the rule. Now that it has become clear that the agency used illegal tactics to manufacture ill-informed support for the rule, Congress should act immediately to
We need you to share your conserva�on story. Send real life examples of what you are doing on your farm/ranch using common conserva�on prac�ces to protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat. These may be things you take for granted, but they are stories we need to share with our elected oﬃcials and regulators. Send them to: info��mn.org or MFBF, A�n: Public Policy Team, PO Box 64370, St. Paul MN 55164.
prohibit implementation of this rule, which is the product of an unlawful and misguided process.” “We applaud U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe for asking GAO to conduct this investigation. The GAO ﬁndings vindicate those, like the American Farm Bureau Federation, who have claimed all along that EPA’s tactics advocating for this rule stepped past the bounds of proper agency rulemaking. EPA was focused only on promoting the rule rather than hearing goodfaith concerns from a wide cross-section of Americans. The public deserves better when important matters of public policy are at stake.”
WTO compliant. • Farm Bureau opposes the language that was included to prohibit USDA inspection at horse processing facilities. • The bill prohibits the distribution of genetically engineered salmon until the FDA publishes ﬁnal labeling guidelines. • A provision was included to suspend the Health Insurance Tax (HIT Tax). • Exemptions are provided from greenhouse gas regulations for livestock farmers/rancher. • The bill contains no funding for new or expanded EPA programs, holding the agency to its lowest funding levels since 2008 and its lowest stafﬁng levels since 1989. n�Not Included in Omnibus Appropriations • WOTUS - Although many agricultural provisions were included, for better or worse, a few signiﬁcant Farm Bureau priority issues did not make it into the ﬁnal legislation. Despite heavy pressure from farmers, ranchers and landowners, the omnibus bill did not address the “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule as we hoped it would. Due to lack of Congressional action, attention is on the efforts to ditch the rule through the courts. A national stay is currently still in effect. • GMO Labeling - Language to implement a federal, voluntary GMO labeling law was also not included in the ﬁnal bill. There was signiﬁcant conversations on this topic and leadership indicated they will address this issue in separate legislation early next year. • Gray Wolf - Unfortunately, language to delist the Gray Wolf in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming from the Endangered Species Act was also ultimately not included. n�Taxes The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) was introduced and is also making its way through Congress at the time of this printing in conjunction with the FY 2016 Omnibus Bill. This $650 billion tax cut package included many of Farm Bureau’s tax priorities, including making some provisions permanent rather than addressing these tax issues each year. This bill includes the
following provisions that are of interest to Farm Bureau: • Permanent expansion of Section 179 for deductions up to $500,000, reduced dollar for dollar after expenses reach $2 million. Deductions will also be indexed for
inﬂation. • Bonus depreciation provisions would be extended for ﬁve years, which provides an additional percent bonus depreciation for the purchase of new capital assets, including agricultural equipment. This percentage is set at 50 percent for 2015, 2016 and 2017, 40 percent for 2018, and 30 percent for 2019. This legislation would make the following Farm Bureau supported provisions permanent: • Fair market test for Unrelated Business Income Tax; • Provisions encouraging donations of conservation easements; • Enhanced deduction for donated food; and • Deduction for state and local sales tax. A new tax provision that allows for deductions for charitable contributions to agricultural research organizations was also included and would be made permanent. Other expired provisions supported by Farm Bureau that were addressed on a shorter term basis include: • Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Tax Credit extended through 2016; • Biodiesel Tax incentives including the Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel $1 per gallon tax credit, the 10 cents per gallon Small Agri-Biodiesel Producer Credit, and the $1 per gallon Tax Credit for Diesel Fuel Created from Biomass were all extended through 2016; • Alternative Fuel Refueling Property was extended through 2016; • The Production Tax Credit which provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatthour for the production of electricity using wind energy was extended through 2016; and • 50 percent Railroad Track Maintenance Credit for Short Line Railroads was also extended through 2016. Farm Bureau supports the tax package and will work with the Minnesota Congressional delegation to ensure passage. n�Transportation Bill The long-awaited Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a $305 billion ﬁve-year
CORNER TO 16A }
16A â€˘ JANUARY 2016 â€˘ VOICE OF AGRICULTURE â€˘ www.fbmn.org t CORNER FROM 15A transportation infrastructure bill, was signed into law by President Obama on December 4, merely hours before the authority that allows the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund highway and transit projects expired. After nearly 10 years of attempts at passing a long-term transportation bill, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 1,300 page FAST Act on December 3 by a ďŹ nal vote of 359-65 followed hours later by the U.S. Senate passing the bill by a vote of 83-16. Farm Bureau supported the FAST Act as there were several provisions that were important to agriculture. All of Minnesotaâ€™s 10 U.S. Senators and Representatives voted in favor of the FAST Act. The FAST Act included language to repeal the $3 billion cut to crop insurance that was included as part of the budget agreement. There was an effort in the Senate to overturn the deal to restore crop insurance funds, but that move was rejected by a vote of 77-22 with both Minnesota Senators voting to support crop insurance. The following provisions important to agriculture were also included: â€˘ Covered Farm Vehicles Section 5518 would protect states from losing federal funding if additional regulatory relief were provided to covered farm vehicles and drivers; â€˘ Hazardous Materials Endorsement Exemption Section 7208 would provide an exemption to a hazardous materials exemption and would allow for farmers and custom harvesters with a Class A CDL to haul to up 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel if the service vehicle is clearly marked with a label reading â€œDiesel Fuel;â€? â€˘ Petitions for Regulatory Relief - Section 5204 ensures a timely and efďŹ cient process to seek future Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) exemptions; â€˘ Commercial Driver Access - Section 5404 would create a pilot program that would allow states to form compacts to allow CDL drivers
between 18-21 to drive across state lines (currently must be 21, even though 49 states allow drivers under 21 to hold CDLs); â€˘ National Freight and Multimodal Policies Numerous provisions would update and create policies that would greatly beneďŹ t agriculture by focusing federal policy on and directing resources to the most strategic freight assets to improve the safety, efďŹ ciency and reliability of the movement of freight.
nďż˝2016 ARC/PLC Enrollment Begins Farmers who elected Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) can begin enrolling in coverage for 2016 starting on December 7, 2015 through August 1, 2016. Although farmers have already elected their participation in either ARC or PLC which remains in place until 2018, you must still enroll your farm by signing a contract each year to receive coverage. If a farm is not enrolled during the 2016 enrollment period, farmers on that farm will not be eligible for ďŹ nancial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Contact your local FSA ofďŹ ce with questions and to schedule an appointment to enroll. nďż˝EPA Releases RFS Volumes The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ďŹ nalized the Renewable Volume Obligation for renewable fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The highly anticipated 2016 mandate calls for 18.11 billion gallons of renewable fuels, which is short of the 22.3 billion gallons set by Congress in the RFS2. Of the 18.11 billion gallons, 230 million gallons will be of cellulosic biofuels, 1.9 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, 3.61 billion gallons of advanced biofuel, and 14.5 billion gallons of traditional, corn ethanol. The
traditional ethanol level is still short of the 15 billion gallons called for by Congress but higher than the originally proposed level of 14 billion gallons that EPA released in June for public comment. Volume obligations were also released for 2014, which were based on actual consumption, at 16.28 total billion gallons and for 2015 at 16.93 total billion gallons. Farm Bureau supports the RFS2 as written in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In a statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, regarding the updated Renewable Fuel Standard, he said, â€œEPAâ€™s decision today to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard undermines our nationâ€™s commitment to advancing biofuels and establishing energy independence. Biofuels have been a homegrown energy success story for the U.S. and our rural economies. The RFS has produced jobs, decreased reliance on foreign oil and contributed to cleaner air.â€? â€œWe need more biofuels, not less, and Farm Bureau called on EPA earlier this year to protect the RFS. We are disappointed to see the agency move forward with a decision that will stall growth and progress in renewable fuels as well as the broader agricultural economy. Farmers, ranchers and consumers will be impacted by the drop in ethanol production and the falloff in livestock feed that goes along with it. In the end, we lose the jobs and stability that come from growing renewable fuel,â€? said President Stallman. nďż˝FDA Releases Final FSMA Rules The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released the ďŹ nal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety rule, the Foreign Supply VeriďŹ cation Program (FSVP) and the Accredited Third-Party CertiďŹ cation rule. The FDA FSMA, signed into law in 2011, enables the FDA to focus its food safety efforts on preventing problems rather than
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relying primarily on reacting to problems after they occur. Since January 2013, the FDA has proposed seven-risk based, foundational rules to implement FSMA, and in October 2014, reproposed certain aspects of four of the rules based on feedback from public comment. The agency intends to focus its implementation efforts on gaining voluntary compliance. The FSMA rules concentrate on: â€˘ďż˝Preventive controls - For the ďŹ rst time, FDA has a legislative mandate to require comprehensive, preventionbased controls across the food supply to prevent or signiďŹ cantly minimize the likelihood of problems occurring. â€˘ďż˝Inspection and Compliance - The legislation recognizes that inspection is an important means of holding industry accountable for its responsibility to produce safe food. FDA is committed to applying its inspection resources in a risk-based manner and adopting innovative inspection approaches. â€˘ďż˝Imported Food Safety FDA has new tools to ensure that imported foods meet U.S. standards and are safe for our consumers. For example, for the ďŹ rst time, importers must verify that their foreign suppliers have adequate preventive controls in place to ensure safety, and FDA will be able to accredit qualiďŹ ed third party auditors to certify that foreign food facilities are complying with U.S. food safety standards. â€˘ďż˝Response - For the ďŹ rst time, FDA has mandatory recall authority for all food products. FDA expects that it will only need to invoke this authority infrequently since the food industry largely honors our requests for voluntary recalls. The agency has other new authorities that are also in effect: expanded administrative detention of products that are potentially in violation of the law, and suspension of a food facilityâ€™s registration. â€˘ďż˝Enhanced Partnerships The legislation recognizes the importance of strengthening existing collaboration among all food safety agenciesâ€”U.S. federal, state, local, territorial, tribal and foreign--to achieve our public health goals. For example, it directs FDA to improve training of state, local, territorial and tribal food safety ofďŹ cials.
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Farm Bureau will continue to review and analyze the ďŹ nal rulesâ€™ impact on farmers and ranchers. nďż˝AFBF Turns to Supreme Court for Chesapeake Bay Ruling The American Farm Bureau Federation and a coalition of agricultural and builder groups asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling that allows the Environmental Protection Agency to micromanage local land use and development decisions under the guise of implementing the federal Clean Water Act. The lower courtâ€™s ruling, according to the petition,â€? opens the door for a dramatic expansion of federal powerâ€? and must be overturned. The lawsuit arose in the context of EPAâ€™s so-called â€œblueprintâ€? for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, but Farm Bureau points out that the issue at stake is national in scope. â€œItâ€™s about whether EPA has the power to override local decisions on what land can be farmed, where homes can be built, and where schools, hospitals, roads and communities can be developed,â€? said AFBF President Bob Stallman. â€œThis is nothing less than federal super-zoning authority. As much as we all support the goal of achieving a healthy Chesapeake Bay, we have to ďŹ ght this particular process for getting there.â€? Twenty-one states, 39 members of Congress and a group of counties within the Bay watershed supported AFBFâ€™s legal challenge in the lower courts. â€œWe certainly hope for even more support in asking for Supreme Court review,â€? said AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen. â€œThere has been a lot of attention to EPAâ€™s recent rule expanding its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. EPAâ€™s overreach in the Bay â€™blueprintâ€™ is just as aggressive, and its impact on communities and businesses is just as dramatic. From the beginning, this was designed as a model that would be followed around the country.â€? According to the court ďŹ ling, the greatest practical, local harm of the Bay blueprint is that it â€œlocks inâ€? decisions made in 2010 and â€œdeprives state and local governments of the ability to adapt their plans to take account of changes in societal needs, developing technologies, or new information. It prevents them from exercising their own judgment about the best and most efďŹ cient ways to achieve the goals for the Bay.â€? Implementation of the blueprint is expected to cost roughly $28 billion to $30 billion in Maryland and Virginia alone. nďż˝Farm Bureau Election Website American Farm Bureau has launched a website to offer farmers and ranchers critical information on the 2016 Presidential candidates. Visit the Farm Bureau election website at election16.fb.org to ďŹ nd campaign news, issues briefs on Farm Bureau policy positions, and campaign related information.
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 17A
YOUNG FARMERS & RANCHERS YF&R in 2016 The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee had a great year in 2015 visiting three additional college campuses to promote Farm Bureau and to hold collegiate Discussion Meets. Working in partnership with the MFBF Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee, we had the highest attending Leadership Conference to date. In 2016, we will work to keep the momentum going by continuing to build the relationships with our current college campuses and look for more opportunities with new colleges. We see this as a great way to spring MFBF ahead as a major contender at the national Collegiate Discussion Meet, as well as a great way to introduce the next generation to our great organization. Thanks to a new sponsorship by Christensen
Farms, MFBF will be sending our top two Collegiate Discussion Meet participants to the national competition. With the great success we had growing our Collegiate Discussion Meet, we want to continue the focus on our leadership development competitions. This year it is also our goal to have four contestants participate in both the Achievement Award and Excellence in Ag competitions (so if anybody knows of someone, send them our way). And of course, we are going to continue to promote and grow the participation of young farmers and ranchers in MFBF! I am very excited to be the chair of the 2016 YF&R Committee. We have a great committee made up of talented, passionate, driven individuals, and I know we will accomplish great things this year.
Family: Wife Jenni and daughter Charlo�e “Charli” (3) Hometown: Dodge Center Educa�on: Pete received is agricultural business degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Jenni has a four-year degree in Early Childhood Educa�on and a Masters of Educa�on from the University of Minnesota. Farm Descrip�on: The Henslins grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Jenni is an early PETE HENSLIN childhood special STATE YF&R COMMITTEE educa�on teacher. CHAIR Hobbies: Golf, hun�ng Why did you get involved with YF&R? The reason that I became involved with the YF&R was to interact with others in my age group that share a passion for agriculture. Dates to Remember: January 8 – MFBF Leadership Conference Registra�on Deadline; January 15 – Discussion Meet Registra�on Deadline; January 22-23; MFBF Leadership Conference in Bloomington; February 12-15 – AFBF YF&R Conference in Nashville; March 1-7 – Ag Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) Week; March 15 – Na�onal Agriculture Day
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Take Action Post-Conference their successes or mistakes as it would apply to your business. Don’t attend meals alone Food brings people together. Some conferences lack a strict schedule, so take advantage of ﬁnding new friends to join you for happy hour or supper if there isn’t something formally planned.
AMANDA AND BRAD DUROW STATE YF&R COMMITTEE MEMBERS Hometown: Has�ngs Educa�on: Both a�ended University of Minnesota, Brad received a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science and Amanda a Bachelor of Science in animal science and Masters of Business Administra�on with a ﬁnance emphasis. 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 want to expand our network and engage with others who are passionate about agriculture. As a farmer and/or agriculture professional, the winter months tend to be scheduled with conferences, meetings, tradeshows and the like. This downtime is valuable in planning and preparing for the next growing season or identifying improvements to ourselves and our businesses. I know the many events I have attended have provided ideas on new products or technologies and insight on grain marketing, succession planning, professional development or other business strategies. But more importantly, I have met new contacts and connected with old friends at these events. With the next Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Leadership Conference, I thought it would be useful to discuss how to get the most out of your conference experience. Find the one takeaway Every presenter or speaker shares their ideas in a different way. Some tell a story, while
others rely on PowerPoint. After their presentation - ask yourself, what did they say that made me stop and think? It may have been how to start a conversation about succession planning, the newest technologies to increase yields, how to analyze your farm data, developing your personal brand or something else that caught your attention, and you are considering applying it to your career or farm business. Take note of one takeaway from each session attended. Pursue action on ideas generated You will get ideas from more than those described in the conference brochure, as conferences are not just about the keynote or breakout sessions. They are about surrounding yourself with likeminded folks. The other attendees may have different experiences with the concept, product or strategy being presented. You can learn from
Follow-up with new contacts Most conversations at conference, meetings, or tradeshows end with a business card exchange, and you leave the event with a stack of cards. I would encourage you to sort and prioritize which new contacts you want to follow-up with. On the back of the business card, make note of the conference, dates and ideas exchanged. For those top contacts, don’t wait a week to send a follow-up message – send an email later that night. In closing Our upcoming Leadership Conference is a joint effort of the MFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and the Promotion & Education Committee to raise awareness of agriculture issues, provide advocacy tools and enhance networks, leadership skills and professional development. The 2016 Leadership Conference will be January 22-23, 2016 so I hope to see you there taking action to accelerate your career and your farm!
RECIPE Kit Kat Bars • 1 box Club crackers • 1 s�ck or margarine • 1/4 cup milk • 1 cup graham crackers crumbs • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar • 1/4 cup sugar • 1/3 cup creamy peanut bu�er • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips • 1/4 cup bu�erscotch chips Place a layer of Club crackers in the bo�om of 9” x 9” pan. In a saucepan over medium-high, melt the bu�er. Add milk, graham cracker crumbs and sugars. Bring to a boil. While boiling, s�r constantly for 5 minutes. Pour half of the mixture over crackers, carefully spreading to cover. Place another layer of crackers on top. Spread with remaining sugar mixture. Top with another layer of crackers. In a saucepan over low heat, s�r the peanut bu�er and chips un�l melted and smooth. Spread over crackers. Chill un�l ﬁrm, about 2 hours. Cut into small squares.
18A • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org
Employee Safety Orientation Checklist Each employee of your farm should receive a safety orientation before beginning work. It is also recommended to review these elements on a periodic basis or when procedures and work tasks change. Check each item that was covered in orientation.
Have employees sign off once all items have been covered and all questions have been answered satisfactorily. • Informed about elements of the written safety program that outline the company’s safety efforts. • Informed about crew safety meetings (how often do you meet?). • Told to report all hazards
Events & Travel Guide February 23 - 25, 2016
to his/her supervisor and shown how to do this. • Informed about all machinery hazards and if under 18 years of age, instructed about prohibited duties. • Informed of and trained on what to do if a chemical hazard exists, such as pesticides. Includes training requirements such as how to read a label and precautions to take when using potentially hazardous materials. • Informed about all other hazards and ways to protect themselves (ex. use of ladders, machines, etc.). • Educated on the company’s Emergency Response Plan, informed about their role(s) in an emergency situation and told who to contact in an emergency. • Educated about the risk of disease transmission and from animals and how to reduce the risk (ex. handwashing, using personal protective equipment, etc.). • Told to report all injuries and shown how to do this according to the company’s Incident Policy and using the Incident Report form. • Shown where the ﬁrst-aid supplies are located and who to call for ﬁrst-aid assistance.
• Shown where all ﬁre extinguishers are located and instructed in the correct operation of them. • Trained on the safe methods to perform the speciﬁc job(s) the employee was assigned, including training about any hazards associated with that job.
• Informed on who to contact with questions, when they have doubts or concerns about a situation/hazard or when they need additional information or instructions. Source: safeagritourism.com
MFBF holds Collegiate Discussion Meets MINNESOTA FARM BUREAU Federation (MFBF) held four regional Collegiate Discussion Meets throughout the state in preparation for the state ﬁnals at the MFBF Annual Meeting on November 21. The top two contestants from each collegiate contest advance to the ﬁnals.
Photo by Ruth Meirick
THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Federa�on (MFBF) held a regional Collegiate Discussion Meet at Ridgewater College in Willmar on November 16. Asa Nelson from Tracy won the compe��on and advanced to the MFBF state Collegiate Discussion Meet compe��on in November. Also advancing was runner-up Morgan Uphoﬀ from Melrose. Pictured, le� to right, are Nathan Collins, MFBF Board of Directors; Dan Lippert, Kandiyohi County Farm Bureau; Uphoﬀ; Nelson; and Loren Molenaar, Kandiyohi County Farm Bureau.
Don’t roll the dice with car repairs. When you select a Farm Bureau Preferred Auto Repair Shop, the claims process is simple: X only one estimate needed X guaranteed workmanship for as long as you own your vehicle X expedited service — the shop has authority to order parts and schedule repairs immediately X simplified billing — we pay the repair shop directly Call one of the Preferred Auto Repair Shops below or visit www.fbfs.com/AutoRepairShops for a complete list in your area.
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THE MINNESOTA FARM Bureau Federa�on (MFBF) held a regional Collegiate Discussion Meet at South Central College in Mankato on November 2. Dru Leiding from Mapleton won the compe��on Photo by Yvonne Simon and advanced to the MFBF state Collegiate Discussion Meet compe��on in November. Also advancing is runner-up Savannah Zippel from Le Sueur. Pictured, le� to right, are Pam Uhlenkamp, MFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Commi�ee member and Leiding.
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A Las�ng �mpression� Preparing to Leave a Legacy Whether you’re young, old or somewhere inbetween, making plans for the legacy you’ll leave can be stressful. But it’s important. The preparation you do today can help your family and friends understand your wishes and intentions when you’re gone. Outline Your Objectives Leaving a legacy begins with identifying your objectives. What are the needs of those you might leave behind, and how do you want to help meet those needs? Some questions to consider include: • If you have a surviving spouse, will he or she need to replace your income? • Will your surviving spouse be able to manage ﬁnancial matters independently? • Do you have dependents, a spouse or aging parents who will need care when you’re gone? • Do you need to prepare to fund your children’s future education? • If you own a business, have you created a strategy for its transition? • Would you like to leave a lasting ﬁnancial gift to your favorite non-proﬁt organization? Document Your Belongings With your objectives identiﬁed, it’s time to inventory your assets and liabilities. Identifying these items will help your team of professionals formulate your strategy. Here are some items you’ll want to remember to include: • Your home and any outstanding mortgages • Your vehicles and any outstanding loans
• Your business and any outstanding loans • Your retirement accounts • Your life insurance and annuity policies • Any funds you’ve saved in a college account • Stocks and bonds you own • Other valuable property such as wedding china, baseball card collections, antiques, jewelry, etc. • Other debts or loans owed The Farm Bureau Journal of Wishes and Records at fbfs.com can also help you document these items. Bring in the Professionals Formalizing your plans for leaving a legacy takes a team of professionals that could include your Farm Bureau agent, accountant, banker ﬁnancial adviser and estate preservation attorney. This team will help you ensure your wishes are clearly documented, and help your heirs avoid unnecessary estate taxes and settlement costs. Once your strategy is set, plan to review it at least once per year to ensure it continues to reﬂect your wishes. Big changes in your life – marriage, divorce, birth, death, acquisition of property, change in ﬁnancial status or a move to a new state – are always reason to take a look at the arrangements you’ve made. With some preparation today, you can leave a ﬁnancial legacy that lasts. Let Farm Bureau Financial Services help you make that happen. Contact a Farm Bureau agent to begin setting the stage for your estate strategy. Source: Farm Bureau Financial Services
Save the Date ! Farmers to Washington D.C.
September 12-16 Note: There is not a spring Farmers to Washington to D.C. tour. Join Farm Bureau members from Minnesota as we take our message to federal decision-makers and see Farm Bureau in ac�on. �his tour is an ideal opportunity to ha�e an impact on public policy and to see historic Washington, D.C. Space is limited, so reserve your spot by sending in a $50 per person, non-refundable deposit before July 22. Given the nature of mee�ngs conducted� the Farmers to �ashington� D.C. trip is limited to Farm Bureau members who are 13 years and older. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federa�on (MFBF) is o�ering 10 – $300 grants (one per county) for the Farmers to Washington, D.C. trip. A registra�on form and $50 deposit must be the submi�ed to MFBF to be eligible for the grant. Grants are distributed on a ﬁrst come ﬁrst serve basis. Check with your county Farm Bureau for sponsorship opportuni�es. �egister by contac�ng Michelle DeGeest at 651-768-2151 or michelle.degeest��mn.org.
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE • www.fbmn.org • 19A
There’s something new cooking in the kitchen at My American Farm! “Food Science Fun” is a series of 10 hands-on activities designed for the K-5 learner to explore how food travels from the farm to the plate, inspiring healthy food choices, the vast array of food careers and even fun kitchen experiments! These engaging activities will spark creativity and challenge students as they examine their daily connection with food and agriculture. To view all 10 activities, visit myamericanfarm.org/ﬁles/Science_Day_Camp_Kit .pdf. “Food Science Fun” is just one item on the menu of learning available at MyAmericanFarm.org, a special project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, made possible by title sponsor DuPont Pioneer. My American Farm is a free, online learning resource for volunteers to help make agriculture exciting and engaging for students and connect them with the source of their food, ﬁber and fuel. And don’t forget that all games and hundreds of resource activities are fully aligned with national learning standards! They say the way to the heart is through food – so let’s inspire some food learning opportunities for students to take agriculture to heart! “Food Science Fun” activities are a great way to inspire more agriculture awareness in your community. One way to bring “Food Science Fun” onto the menu is through facilitation of science day camps or events - these can be in conjunction with existing fairs or events, or as community partnerships with local recreation departments or clubs. Check with your local sources such as fair associations, schools, YMCA’s, after-school clubs and other community activities to ﬁnd out where “Food Science Fun” is the best ﬁt in your community. The 10 learning activities are each between 5 and 30 minutes long and are designed to be completed in group fashion or self-paced with volunteer facilitation. All you need are some passionate volunteers and a few materials to bring these engaging food activities and agriculture to life!
Whether you splurge and give kids a taste of all 10 activities, or pick and choose those that meet your need, any opportunity you have to connect young people to the source of their food is a step in the right direction. Take a look at the menu, and start planning! Keep in mind, these activities are adaptable! See something you like, try it, tweek it, and make it your own! l�A Career for Me Learn about the variety of jobs that are available in agriculture and meet a real farmer! l�Balloon Blow-Up Make a balloon inﬂate using ordinary kitchen ingredients. l�Crazy for Compost Learn all about composting - how food scraps can turn from waste to wonderful soil! l�Faced with a Healthy Snack Make a fun (and friendly!) snack while learning about healthy food choices! l�Fact or Fairytale? Learn more about what is produced on farms and the value of farmers through a fun game! l�Kick the Can Ice Cream Participate in a fun game of kick/roll/throw the can to turn milk into a frozen treat! l�Parts of the Plant Match parts of the plant with common items that we eat! l�Play ’n Learn Learn more about agriculture through fun gaming experiences with My American Farm. l�Portion Power Learn healthy portion sizes by participating in the Portion Power Game. l�Taste Bud Challenge Challenge their taste buds without using their sense of sight or smell! Students will learn a variety of food science careers related to plant production. Source: American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture
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ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris models with engine sizes over 90cc are only for riders age 16 and older. Always wear a helmet and be sure to get safety training. For safety and training information, call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887, or Polaris at (800) 342-3764.
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We have all the traits labeled for use today and theyâ€™re available in outstanding genetics. Our focus is on producing the highest quality seed for your farm.
H24R6 wins FIRST Trials in Oâ€™Brien County, IA H34R6 wins FIRST Trials in Oakland, IA H26R6 tops FIRST Trials in Winterset, IA H34R6 & H27R5 both win plots in NE Nebraska H004Y12 & H009R3 at the top in NDSU trials H07Y12 at top of the FIRST Trails in Jamestown, ND H19R6 tops FIRST Trials in Minnehaha County H16R6 #1 in all of FIRST Trials SDNE testing H26R6 is at the top in SE South Dakota H16R6 tops FIRST Trials in Codington County, SD
More Hefty Yields In Plots Around the Region... NORTH DAKOTA Variety H07Y12 H01R4 H02R3 H07Y12 H01R4 H06R6 H06R6
Yield 51.8 49.6 37.8 36.9 36.6 46.9 47.5
Location Jamestown Jamestown Fessenden Fessenden Fessenden Litchville Oakes
Variety H19R6 H17R6 H19R6 H17R4 H17R6 H16R6 H16R6 H10R6 H16R6 H10R6 H26R6
Yield 66.1 62.5 51.8 60.7 61.7 61.5 61.4 57.0 56.1 55.7 52.5
Location Colton Colton Ethan Arlington Bath Bath Watertown Watertown Webster Webster Ethan
Variety H19R6 H16R6 H19R6 H16R6 H19R6 H16R6 H16R6 H21R6 H19R6 H18R5 H19R6 H20R3 H19R6 H21R6 H19R6
Yield Location 64.1 Glencoe 59.9 Holloway 60.3 Clinton 67.5 Madison Lake 67.9 Madison Lake 61.7 Winthrop 58.3 Wabasso 56.4 Wabasso 54.5 Wabasso 68.6 Tracy 71.4 Tracy 71.1 New Richland 70.8 Kasson 69.5 Easton 68.8 Jeffers
Variety H20R3 H19R6 H19R6 H24R6 H20R3 H24R6 H28R5 H26R6 H24R6 H28R4 H28R5 H26R6 H21R6 H26R6 H27R5
Yield Location 65.7 Emmetsburg 65.6 Emmetsburg 63.7 Osage 63.1 Osage 66.8 New Hampton 65.9 New Hampton 70.5 Hull 69.7 Hull 70.4 Hartley 70.2 Galva 67.0 Galva 66.4 Galva 61.0 Albert City 60.7 Albert City 60.6 Albert City
Variety H26R6 H34R6 H27R5
Yield 72.6 58.2 57.2
Variety H28R5 H34R6 H27R5
Yield 56.3 57.5 56.6
Location Wisner Dodge Herman
Location Herman Scribner Scribner
Agronomy. Answers. Yield. www.heftyseed.com 1-800-274-3389
Variety H28R5 H24R6 H27R5 H26R6 H28R5 H27R5 H28R5 H28R4 H28R4 H28R5 H30R6 H28R4 H28R5 H34R6 H28R4 H26R6 H27R5 H26R6 H27R5 H28R5
Yield 60.5 64.4 64.8 63.3 61.9 69.5 70.6 70.2 84.6 83.3 76.1 75.8 83.1 83.7 78.0 77.4 77.1 81.7 78.4 77.9
Location Albert City Laurens Laurens Iowa Falls Waterloo Slater Anamosa Slater Victor Victor Washington Washington Oskaloosa Oakland Oakland Oakland Oakland Winterset Winterset Winterset
THERE ARE LOTS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT INCREASING YIELD AND PROFITABILITY IN 2016. COME TO A FREE AG PHD WORKSHOP THIS WINTER. GET A FREE AGRONOMY BOOK, A GREAT MEAL, AND LOTS OF GOOD TIPS ON CUTTING EXPENSES, BOOSTING YIELDS, AND EARNING MORE MONEY ON YOUR FARM.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – Bismarck, ND – Radisson (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – Wolf Point, MT – The Elks (1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) Friday, January 8, 2016 – Watertown, SD – Convention Center (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Tuesday, January 12, 2016 – West Point, NE – Nielsen Center (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – Sikeston, MO – Miner Convention Center (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Friday, January 15, 2016 – Morton, MN – Jackpot Junction (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Monday, January 18, 2016 – Larchwood, IA – Grand Falls Casino (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Tuesday, January 19, 2016 – Mitchell, SD – Highland Conference Center (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Wednesday, January 20, 2016 – Twin Falls, ID – Canyon Crest (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Friday, January 22, 2016 – Spencer, IA – Clay County Convention Center (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Tuesday, January 26, 2016 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Civic Center (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Wednesday, January 27, 2016 – Fargo, ND – FargoDome (10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Friday, February 12, 2016 – Mesa, AZ – Convention Center (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 – Aberdeen, SD – Dakota Event Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Wednesday, February 3, 2016 – Osage, IA – Cedar River Complex (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) MoreFalls, Information and Registration atp.m.) Friday, February 5, 2016 – Granite MN – Prairies Edge Casino (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 Monday, February 8, 2016 – Spokane, WA – Northern Quest (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Wednesday, February 10, 2016 – Rapid City, SD – Hilton Garden Inn (9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) Monday, February 15, 2016 – Larchwood, IA – Grand Falls Casino (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Tuesday, February 16, 2016 – Great Falls, MT – Hilton Garden Inn (9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) Wednesday, February 17, 2016 – Murray, KY – Curris Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Friday, February 19, 2016 – Rochester, MN – International Events Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Wednesday, February 24, 2016 – Minot, ND – Grand Hotel Convention Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Thursday, February 25, 2016 – Grand Forks, ND – Alerus Center (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
We will absolutely make it worth your while to spend a day with us talking crops and agronomy!
DARREN & BRIAN HEFTY
More Information and Registration at
An advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and policies of our members.
Minnesota Farm Bureau ®
2015 ANNUAL REVIEW
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.”
FARM BUREAU BELIEFS
w We believe in government by legislative and constitutional law, impartially administered, without special privilege. w We believe in the representative form of government...a republic...as provided in our Constitution, in limitations on government power, in maintenance of equal opportunity in the right of each individual to freedom of worship and in freedom of speech, press and peaceful assembly. w Individuals have a moral responsibility to help preserve freedom for future generations by participating in public aﬀairs and by helping to elect candidates who share their fundamental beliefs and principles. w People have the right and the responsibility to speak for themselves individually or through organizations of their choice without coercion or government intervention. w Property rights are among the human rights essential to the preservation of individual freedom. w We believe in the right of every person to choose an occupation; to be rewarded according to his/her contributions to society; to save, invest or spend; and to convey his/her property to heirs. Each person has the responsibility to meet ﬁnancial obligations incurred. w We believe that legislation and regulations favorable to all sectors of agriculture should be aggressively developed in cooperation with allied groups possessing common goals. We support the right of private organizations to require membership as a prerequisite for member services.
Minnesota Farm Bureau ®
P.O. Box 64370 St. Paul, MN 55164 651-768-2100 Fax: 651-768-2159 info@ mn.org • mn.org
“I believe in grassroots organizations that are all about bringing farmers and ranchers together, no matter what you farm. We all can work together to create policy and create a community where we’re all looking out for each other.” –Leah Johnson, Douglas County
2B • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org
Tools and Resources at fbmn.org Minnesota Farm Bureau
Have you seen all of the tools and resources available at bmn.org? Check it out today for information on the organization, membership, programs, public policy, educational resources, news, events and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation. NEW this year is a one-stop-shop page for public policy information, including current and priority issues, policy development information and legislative information.
FARM BUREAU MEMBERSHIP 4What’s in it for you?
w Food Safety Farm Bureau is committed to providing safe, aﬀordable food for families. We work with farmers and government of icials to ensure that food safety is a top priority. w Protecting our Environment Farm families drink the water, breathe the air and live on the land. Minnesota’s farmers demonstrate a strong commitment to protecting and improving our environment by participating in voluntary conservation programs and adopting recommended managements practices for enhancing soil, air and water quality. w Energy Farm Bureau supports a comprehensive energy approach to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and alleviating the economic hardship for all Americans caused by rising energy costs. This includes renewable energy sources such as ethanol, biodiesel, wind and biomass, nuclear and domestic fossil fuel production. w Animal Care Ethical animal care is a top priority for Minnesota farmers. It’s the right thing to do, and it keeps our animals safe, healthy and disease-free. Farm Bureau believes that animal care decisions should continue to be made by farmers in consultation with their veterinarian. w Strong Rural Communities Strong, thriving rural communities and a successful agriculture economy go hand in hand. Farm Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that rural Minnesota is able to prosper. Locally, Farm Bureau members are dedicated to local civic involvement and actively work to ensure that their rural communities have access to high quality education and health care, provide a business friendly climate and can compete in a global marketplace.
1. Policy MFBF will advocate the policies developed by our members. • Policy development • Policy implementation • Political action 2. Leadership MFBF will recognize, empower and engage our members. • Create a culture that provides opportunities for leadership development and growth • Identify and utilize member strengths • Reliable integrated membership database system 3. Image MFBF will enhance and strengthen its pro ile. • Strengthened Farm Bureau brand • Earn key in luencer trust 4. Resources • Membership growth • Revenue growth • Fiscal responsibility
Minnesota Farm Bureau is an advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and policies of our members.
arm Bureau is an organization guided and directed by our nearly 30,000 member families – teachers, farmers, community leaders, husbands, wives, parents and business owners. Each one is concerned about their children, families, communities and making Minnesota a great place to live and work. We exist to serve members because we share the values they hold dear – hard work, love of community, passion for the land and belief rooted in faith and family. Our services, programs and bene its 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 pro ile. 12
w Leadership Farm Bureau will recognize, empower and engage our members.
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org • 3B
President’s Message 97 Years Strong
Policy, Image, Leadership, Resources
his year, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) updated our strategic plan in order to continue to move forward in a positive direction. The major areas of focus for MFBF are Policy, Leadership, Image and Resources. The area of Resources was added so that we do not lose sight of the importance of the tools necessary for us to be eﬀective in the other three areas of Policy, Image and Leadership. Policy One of the strengths of our organization is our grassroots policy development, policy implementation and political action. Our policy is strong and respected because of our thoroughness of the process. We will strive for continual improvement with a strong emphasis on member engagement in the development, implementation and action of our policy. Programs such as Council of County Presidents, Days on the Hill, Adopt-a-Legislator and Farmers to Washington, D.C. matter. Your participation puts a face to farming with your members of the Minnesota Legislature and Members of Congress. County Farm Bureau invitations to legislators to tour farms across the state and ride in a combine do make a diﬀerence. Sharing personal stories on how legislation aﬀects our families and our farms are impactful. Farm Bureau members attended and shared personal stories during buﬀer meetings and property tax meetings. Providing personal examples of how legislative actions aﬀect farm and ranch families is noticed. Personal testimony by Farm Bureau members of how they care for the environment can be viewed on youtube.com/ minnesotafarmbureau. Throughout the year, Farm Bureau members were asked to speak up
and share comments with our Members of Congress through our website using our Action Alerts. This is an easy to use tool to help you comment on an issue. You took the time, shared personal stories of how that proposed legislation would aﬀect your farms and asked our Members of Congress to support Farm Bureau policy.
Image We continue to evaluate ways to share our story and invest resources to strengthen the Farm Bureau brand – Farmers • Families • Food and enhance consumer trust through Minnesota Farmers CARE – Animals • Environment • Food • Family. Our bmn.org website was updated and now has improved mobile compatibility and a new Public Policy resource center. MFBF has a strong focus on social media in order to communicate with Farm Bureau members, as well as consumers seeking information about agriculture and Minnesota Farm Bureau. MFBF is a member of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) which strives to provide resources for farmers to engage with consumers and key in luencers. Check out fooddialouges.com. USFRA is a strong supporter of the documentary Farmland. MFBF has been assisting county Farm Bureaus who are hosting public viewings in their communities and schools to open the conversation about how farmers grow and raise food. Through the Speak for Yourself program, farmers across Minnesota presented to over 101 service organizations, community key in luencers and high school classrooms about their farms. Our Minnesota State Fair eﬀorts provided an opportunity for consumers to ask farmers a question – opening up good conversations around food. We continue to strengthen Farm Bureau’s identity of Farmers • Families • Food with members and potential members while improving consumer trust through the Minnesota Farmers CARE initiative.
Farm Bureau’s standing reputation as the largest and most in luential grassroots farm organization in the world is based on the fact that by working together, we produce results each and every year.
Leadership Farm Bureau prides itself in developing strong leaders for rural communities and local Farm Bureaus. These eﬀorts begin with our youth through our partnerships with the FFA and our state’s agricultural education teachers/FFA advisors and with our 4-H clubs at the local level as well as our working relationship with the state 4-H ambassadors. We hold yearly meetings with both the state 4-H ambassadors and the state FFA of icer team emphasizing our engagement with tomorrow’s leaders. Our Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) have a strong emphasis on collegiate outreach hosting four qualifying collegiate Discussion Meets with the top two from each college advancing to the state contest held during our Annual Meeting. Our FFA and Collegiate Discussion Meet along with our YF&R Leadership Contests develop strong leaders. Skills attained during these leadership opportunities are applicable in everyday life and strengthen agriculture’s voice. The Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee reached out to the Minnesota State Academy of the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy of the Blind as well as urban schools requesting to meet a farmer. Imagination Stations are “My American Farms” interactive kiosks being developed and will be used in museums, classrooms and county Farm Bureau events across the state. The committee also has a strong emphasis on adult and youth farm safety outreach. 56 percent of Minnesotans have never met a farmer, and 60,000 U.S. agricultural job opportunities are expected annually. With these types of statistics, we have a lot of outreach to gain an understanding of what we do and to open the doors of job opportunities to help us meet the needs of a growing world population. Our Leadership Conference held jointly by the P&E and the YF&R Committees grew to nearly 300 attendees. Each area has a learning track with a focus on leadership development skills. These opportunities will improve our eﬀectiveness and help to identify new leaders, expand the membership base and build stronger county Farm Bureaus.
“Farm Bureau is an advocate for this lifestyle of farming that I love.” –Jared Luhman, Goodhue County
Resources In order for our Farm Bureau to focus on these areas we need the membership and revenue streams to enable us to do so. Thank you to everyone who asked your friends, neighbors and families to join the largest general farm organization in Minnesota and the United States. Membership matters, and your eﬀorts helped Minnesota Farm Bureau grow for the ifth year in a row to 29,322 members. This is also the largest membership growth in 21 years. 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 af iliated 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 bene its received from our af iliated companies. Thank you FBFS for your partnership and desire to make a positive diﬀerence for farmers and ranchers, families and rural communities in Minnesota. In Closing We appreciate your membership and dedication to strengthen Farm Bureau’s and agriculture’s voice. We hope that the results of our eﬀorts, make a diﬀerence in the strength of our county Farm Bureaus. I encourage you to remain engaged and make a diﬀerence. 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
4B • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org
POLICY Your Voice—Our Future Farm Bureau is constantly serving as a watch dog on the local, state and national level for our members. Whether it is legislation or regulations, Farm Bureau is able to communicate with elected of icials to explain the consequences of implementation. By allowing Farm Bureau to lay the foundation, our members are in a better position to share their stories of how proposed legislation or regulations eﬀects their family and communities. Whether it is serving as a watchdog, taking our members’ voices to Washington D.C. or mobilizing our grassroots actions, Farm Bureau has a successful position in the political arena.
w Buffers Issue: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and a working group of state agencies (Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR)) developed and sought passage of legislation in the 2015 Minnesota Legislature to require landowners to provide a 50 foot perennially vegetated buﬀer for all waterways in the state. The original legislative proposal placed DNR in charge of enforcement with the agency authorized to issue penalty provisions up to $20,000 for non-compliance of the buﬀer mandate. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau opposed the legislation proposed on behalf of the Governor for buﬀers and prevented the bills from being passed in either the Senate or the House. Unfortunately, an amendment dealing with buﬀers was attached in the House/Senate Conference Committee report consolidating diﬀerences of the omnibus Agriculture Finance/Natural Resources bill. Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations reluctantly accepted the language negotiated between legislators and the administration. An earlier considered amendment, which Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations had supported, was discarded under the threat of having the omnibus bill, containing many critical and bene icial elements, vetoed. In spite of the acceptance of the inal version of the buﬀer language, Governor Dayton vetoed the omnibus legislation and the inal actions for approval didn’t come until the Special Session of the Legislature had concluded with several other diﬀerences negotiated to a resolution. Results: The inal buﬀer language requires landowners, by November 1, 2017, to provide a 50 foot average perennial buﬀer (30 foot minimum) width on property adjacent to public waters. The criteria for what de ines water bodies as public waters are outlined by state law, 103G.005. Property owners with ditches, within a bene ited area of a public drainage system, are required to have perennially-vegetated buﬀers of 16.5 foot width by November 1, 2018. Local authorities, counties or watershed districts have the responsibility for issuing penalties on landowners for non-compliance of the law, with BWSR waiting in the wings to assume the task of punishment if local authorities defer by not having a penalty plan approved of by BWSR. Since inal passage of the buﬀer law, Minnesota Farm Bureau has actively engaged in participating in more than 40 information meetings through October, reaching over 1,000 people to explain the requirements landowners will need to meet. Farm Bureau 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.
w Agricultural Property Taxes
State Legislative Priorities w Taxes w Transportation w Water w Education w Agricultural Production Practices
National Legislative Priorities 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
Issue: Minnesota agricultural property owners are being signi icantly 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. In addition to high agricultural property taxes caused by school construction bonding, ever-increasing county government costs are also translating to even more agricultural property tax inancial burdens. Action: Entering the 2015 Minnesota Legislative Session, responding to the excessive levels of agricultural property taxes was a top priority. Payment of debt bonds is achieved by taxing all property within the tax district to bear the burden of the costs - called Net Tax Capacity. Bringing about a more equitable weight of this level of tax responsibility was one of the objectives pursued. Early in the 2015 session, legislation was introduced and strongly supported by Farm Bureau which proposed to base school and local government debt bonds on the basis of a house/garage and one acre - called Market Value. Several variations of the house/garage and one acre approach were attempted, including a hybrid version where half the tax would be placed on Net Tax Capacity and half placed on Market
Value. These were oﬀered and provided at legislative hearings without favorable action. The most progress for agricultural property tax relief came in the form of a proposal to use state general funds to pay for onehalf the agricultural share of the annual payments for school debt bonds. This amount was estimated to be $50 million per iscal year, based on the present level of outstanding school debt bonds and the annual payments required from agricultural property taxpayers to meet the obligations of the bonds. Results: Because legislative leadership made the decision to not have a tax bill, the proposal, for relief for agricultural property owners, fell apart without advancing for inal consideration/approval. Minnesota Farm Bureau continues to make progress in building working and cooperative support with other organizations. Key partnerships with Farm Bureau working together with other agricultural groups and the Minnesota Rural Education Association helped move ideas forward in the 2015, exploring all available options. These relationships continue and will be essential in working to convince lawmakers to adopt legislative solutions.
w Waters of the U.S. Issue: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) inalized a rule that will signi icantly expand the de inition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The inal rule went into eﬀect on August 28, 2015. However, on October 9, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a temporary stay of the EPA and Corps WOTUS rule eﬀective nationwide. This decision means that the new rule cannot be enforced by the Corps or EPA pending further court action. Although this is only a temporary victory, it is a strong signal that the rule is unlawful and harmful to states, farmers, ranchers and landowners. The stay will remain in eﬀect until the court decides whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case. It is yet to be determined if the Court of Appeals will continue to hear the cases, or if District Courts will have jurisdiction to hear the 12 diﬀerent cases that were iled against the inal rule. Just days after this temporary victory, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied a request by the EPA and Army Corps to centralize the 12 diﬀerent district court cases into a single court in Washington D.C. EPA asked the court to centralize the litigation in a strategic move to avoid the risk that at least one of the 12 courts reviewing the rule would ind it unlawful. The inal rule provides none of the clarity and certainty it promises. Instead, it creates confusion and risk by providing the agencies with almost unlimited authority to regulate, at their discretion, any low spot where rainwater collects, including common farm ditches, ephemeral drainages, agricultural ponds and isolated wetlands found in and near farms and ranches across the nation. The rule de ines terms like “tributary” and “adjacent” in ways that make it impossible for a typical farmer or ranchers to know whether the speci ic ditches or low areas at his or her farm will be deemed “waters of the U.S.” These de initions are certainly broad enough, however, to give regulators (and citizen plaintiﬀs) plenty of room to assert that such areas are subject to CWA jurisdiction. The rule will give the agencies sweeping new authority to regulate land use, which they may exercise at will. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) is a leading voice in repealing the WOTUS rule. The Public Policy Team and Farm Bureau members from across the state have worked diligently to ensure that this broad overreach of authority by the EPA does not hinder farmers, ranchers and landowners to perform normal daily activities on their land. In addition, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and 13 other agricultural and other industry groups iled a lawsuit asking a federal court to vacate the new “waters of the U.S.” rule issued by EPA and the Corps. The complaint, iled in federal district court in Texas, includes three primary allegations: (1) the rule grants EPA and the Corps broad control over land use far beyond what Congress authorized in the CWA; (2) the vagueness and overbreadth of the rule violates the U.S. Constitution; and (3) promulgation of the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act because EPA’s aggressive grassroots advocacy campaign during the comment period re lected a closed mind to concerns expressed by farmers and others. Result: Farm Bureau’s voice continues to be heard. Since our involvement in this issue, nearly 1,500 emails have been sent by Farm Bureau members to the Minnesota Congressional delegation and EPA asking them to “ditch the rule.” Until farmers, ranchers and landowners have the clarity and certainty needed under the CWA, Farm Bureau will continue to be a leader on this issue both legislatively and judicially.
POLICY TO 5B w
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org • 5B
“Farm Bureau works in St. Paul and D.C. for me while I am busy raising my family and farming.” –Julie Marquardt, Wright County
w Youth and Collegiate Outreach Issue: As a general farm organization, Farm Bureau monitors all issues. Farm Bureau recognizes the opportunity to assist in developing stronger leaders and strengthen collaborative eﬀorts. Action: To reach college aged students, the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee met with diﬀerent agriculture organizations on ive diﬀerent campuses throughout the state. To increase participation in the Collegiate Discussion Meet, regional contests were held on campuses prior to a inal 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 meets yearly with the state FFA of icers; assists in training the state 4-H ambassadors and supports leadership development opportunities for youth in these 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.
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. w Leadership Conference Issue: Minnesota Farm Bureau members are constantly seeking opportunities to learn about trends in agriculture, gain tools to enhance leadership and professional development and network with other members. The Leadership Conference is designed to provide leadership training for all Farm Bureau members. Action: The 2015 Leadership Conference was held in Red Wing. Attendees participated in tours and breakout sessions focused on agriculture, leadership and engagement. Topics ranged from farm business planning, consumer engagement, organic farming, pollinators, beginning farmer programs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Farming Today, succession planning, unmanned aerial systems and livestock. Attendees received a training kit on Minnesota agriculture, bees and honey, maple sugar, corn and sugar beets to use in classrooms in their county to teach elementary age children. The kit also contained two books as well as information on the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture resources. During the conference, attendees conducted a service project for Kids Against Hunger packing 10,800 meals for the Red Wing Area Food Shelf. The Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFB) Foundation sponsored this hunger service project with a donation of $2,500. Farm Bureau members also raised over $3,300 for Second Harvest Heartland. Result: Nearly 300 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.
w Food Awareness Month Issue: Farmers are committed to providing safe and healthy food choices for all Americans. Farm Bureau members want to talk with consumers about the shared goal of nutritious and aﬀordable meals for families, but do not always know where to begin the conversation. Action: Minnesota Farm Bureau celebrated February as Food Awareness Month. Food Awareness Month brings awareness to all things food – from the farmers who grow and raise food, to food safety and availability. Food Awareness Month helps American consumers learn about the food they eat every day. 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.
w POLICY FROM 4B w Biotechnology Issue: The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) longstanding policy on biotech food labeling states: “FDA has no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods diﬀer from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that, as a class, foods developed by the new techniques present any or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.” The world’s top credible scienti ic authorities—including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization, the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences, the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association—have all concluded that foods with biotech-derived ingredients are safe. Still, there are signi icant eﬀorts to require labeling of foods with biotech ingredients, regardless of scienti ic evidence. Each year, anti-biotechnology groups attempt to pass mandatory labeling laws in several states through statute or referendum. Mandatory labels would mislead consumers about the safety of biotechnology, erode the credibility of FDA and discourage consumer acceptance of new, bene icial technologies. Farm Bureau has opposed mandatory labeling eﬀorts at the federal and state levels. Action: MFBF has taken continued action to support a voluntary federal labeling standard based on sound science. On July 23, 2015, the House approved H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act by a vote of 275 to 150. This bill would provide a national framework for the voluntary labeling of GMO foods. Importantly, the bill will preempt states from requiring additional GMO labeling standards. MFBF worked closely with our members of Congress to garner their support for the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. In the end, six of Minnesota’s Representatives voted to support the voluntary federal labeling bill that we supported: Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, McCollum, Emmer and Peterson. Result: Passage of H.R. 1599 was a priority for Farm Bureau, and we now look forward to ensuring success of similar legislation in the Senate.
6B • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org
LEADERSHIP “No matter what part of the country farmers or ranchers are from, we all have challenges to face and goals to celebrate. Farm Bureau stands beside us through them all.” –TaLana Mathiowetz, Redwood County
w 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, inancial 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
IMAGE MFBF will enhance and strengthen its pro ile • Strengthened Farm Bureau brand • Earn key in luencer trust Minnesota Farmers CARE Issue: Minnesota farmers are Committed to Agriculture while Respecting the Earth, and County Farm Bureaus need resources to share this message with consumers. Minnesota Farmers CARE—Animals • Environment • Food • Family, is only as useful as the information we are able to share and conversations we are able to have. Action: County Farm Bureaus across the state implemented local projects in order to be proactive with consumers not directly involved in agriculture. Whoever de ines the “issue” are the ones who have positive outcomes. For Food Awareness Month in February, a Minnesota Farmers CARE – Food piece was provided to each
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 ilm 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 ilm from awardwinning director, James Moll, viewers step inside the world of farming for a irst-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers. We 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 ilm was made with the generous support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. Action: As an af iliate partner of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, Minnesota Farm Bureau has been a key part of promoting Farmland in Minnesota. Following last year’s public and private showings, this year’s attention was
turned to the local level and how County Farm Bureaus could use the ilm in their own communities. Community kit resources were available to any group that wished to show the ilm and have the conversation about farming. Result: In its second year, the Farmland ilm remains to gain momentum throughout Minnesota. The online streaming of the ilm found to be very successful nationwide and continues to be available for sale on DVD online. Many county Farms Bureaus worked with local agriculture groups to show the ilm in their communities and start the conversation about farming. Farmland is starting to make its way into school settings through the Speak for Yourself program and will continue to be successful following the release of 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.
educational opportunities to better prepare these contestants. The preliminary rounds of the Discussion Meet are held at the MFBF Leadership Conference, and the inals 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 Paul and Ruth Lanoue of Lyon 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.
“I’m a Farm Bureau member because it aligns with my values and it’s important to be part of the discussion, and therefore part of the solution.” –Bruce Tiﬀany, Redwood County county to have at events, featuring “Ask a Farmer,” where farmers answered some of the most asked questions about food today. Following the Minnesota legislative session, a Minnesota Farmers CARE – Environment piece was created to let consumers know some of the things that farmers are already doing on their farm to protect and preserve the land. Farmers are true stewards of the resources they have been provided. Result: The Minnesota Farmers CARE, Committed to Agriculture while Respecting the Earth—Animals • Environment • Food • Family initiative to connect and engage consumers with farmers driven by local Farm Bureaus has been very successful. Projects include billboards; newspaper ads; placemats used at
annual meetings and Breakfasts on the Farms; movie theater and radio ads; pop up banners; backpacks for 4-H youth leadership; fair displays; county 4-H herdsmanship displays; bookmarks; newspaper inserts; and brochures. This year’s projects had over 20 million people consumer impressions. Both printed Minnesota Farmers CARE pieces were provided to counties and distributed throughout the state. As an added feature, both were featured on the Minnesota Farm Bureau website and linked to further information about each of the farmers, whether it be a video, blog or news story. Having additional avenues for information on the website and social media maintains Farm Bureau’s credibility as a trusted source.
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, AgStar Financial Services, United FCS, AgCountry, AgriBank, Riverview LLP and CHS to train 12 new speakers, schedule 101 presentations and launch a social media pilot program, including a public Farming Today Facebook page. 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 300 community organizations, including local rotary clubs, lions clubs and school boards. Speakers also speak to moms groups and high school classrooms, reaching over 2.5 million people through presentations and media coverage. Participants were also encouraged to tell their story through social media and the Farming Today Facebook page reaching nearly 150,000 people.
JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org • 7B
“Farm Bureau truly is the best voice for agriculture at the state and federal level.”
–Barry Nelson, Stevens County America’s Heartland and United States Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Issue: It is important for agriculture organizations to represent themselves in a uni ied front. Organizations exist to share resources and information regarding spreading the positive word of agriculture. Action: The Minnesota Farm Bureau has invested money and time in organizations whose eﬀorts aim to reach key in luencers and enhance the positive image of agriculture. Two of these organizations are America’s Heartland, a television program on public television and the United States Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, a nationwide organization
SOTA FAR NNE M MI
aiming to answer questions about how farmers raise our food and care for animals. Result: Being part of these organizations allows Minnesota Farm Bureau to be at the table when key decisions are being made about agriculture in Minnesota and throughout the nation. Minnesota Farm Bureau is building positive relationships to build a uni ied force in agriculture and is gaining access to resources for members and leaders to use.
Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation
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Eﬀorts to enhance the positive image of agriculture go hand in hand with the mission of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation, which is to provide opportunities for supporters of agriculture to invest in people and programs focused on supporting active farmers and agriculturalists, better connecting agriculture to consumers and serving rural communities.
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 with the Minnesota Farmers CARE logo or an ice cream scoop 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 and over 6,000 took 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.
“With Farm Bureau, there are so many great opportunities to interact with consumers and the general public.” —Jon Guentzel, Le Sueur County Agriculture in the Classroom Issue: The average consumer is three to seven generations removed from the farm, so it makes sense when consumer research indicates that consumers want to hear from farmers. Providing consumers an opportunity to learn irst-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 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 Minnesota State Academy of the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy of the Blind. 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 un illed each year. Providing opportunities for consumers to better understand production agriculture will help shape the direction of agriculture in the future.
8B • JANUARY 2016 • VOICE OF AGRICULTURE ANNUAL REVIEW • www.fbmn.org THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP!
FARM & BUSINESS n Caterpillar Inc. Members receive up to $2,000 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 fbadvantage.com/cat, click on “Minnesota,” enter your number and zip code. For more information call 651-768-2114. n Grainger, Inc. Exclusive Grainger offers for Farm Bureau Members - at least 10% off catalog each price. 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 708-396-1900 to help Farm Bureau members get registered, place orders using their state discount code, check stock, answer questions and provide support for www.Grainger.com. FREE standard ground shipping ONLY on orders placed at Grainger.com. 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. A current Farm Bureau membership verification certificate must be presented to the Case IH dealer in advance of product delivery to receive an incentive discount. Go to fbadvantage.com. n AgriPlan/BizPlan Save $5,000 a year with AgriPlanNOW! TASC’s AgriPlanNOW Section 105 Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) plans save members an average of $5,000 annually by enabling family farmers and other qualified small business owners to deduct 100 percent of their family health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical, vision and dental expenses not covered by insurance as business expenses. TASC offers an industry-exclusive audit guarantee, a money back guarantee and a TASC card to make medical expense reimbursement as easy as the swipe of a debit card. Farm Bureau members in Minnesota receive a 15% discount. For more information, contact TASC toll-free at 855-591-0562. Be sure to mention discount code MNFA. For a free tax savings analysis, visit the MN Farm Bureau affiliate partner page online at http://bit.ly/MNfarmbureau. n 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 www.SmallBusinessTransition.com 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 fbmn.org. Select Membership Benefits under Membership. First time users will need to create a username and password. 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 fbmn.org. n Nickelodeon Universe®, Mall of America The nation’s largest indoor family theme park. Discounted all day wristband tickets may be ordered at fbmn.org. n Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Call for your discount card—offering $2 adult and $1 child off zoo admission and $1 off IMAX Theatre admission. n ValleyFair, Shakopee Members receive a savings off gate price tickets and parking. Tickets may be ordered at fbmn.org. Check out the newly expanded water park. n Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul Enjoy discounts to events at xcelenergycenter.com/MNfarm. The site is updated as new events are announced.
n Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells, WI A perk for the whole pack! A 20% savings off best available room rates and includes up to four waterpark passes. Visit greatwolf.com or call 866-925-9653 to make reservations. Use code: MNFB551A. (Offer guaranteed when reservations are made 30 days prior to arrival date). n Water Park of America, by Mall of America Water Park of America will honor a Sunday-Friday water park general admission rate of $15 per person per day or Saturday $20 per person per day. Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America – save 25% off standard overnight room rates. Discount coupon can be downloaded at fbmn.org. Use promotional code “FARM” to redeem. (All rates are subject to availability and blackout dates.) waterparkofamerica.com/fbmn.
HEALTH n ScriptSave A prescription drug savings card. Save on brand name and generic prescription purchases at local pharmacies and use Group Number 941. Visit scriptsave.com and go to card services page, click on option to enroll and enter requested information. Print out your card. Or call 800-700-3957 to request your card. n 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 lifelinescreening.com/mnfb. n Anytime Fitness, LLC Farm Bureau members in Minnesota and their immediate family members are eligible to enjoy the following at participating Anytime Fitness clubs: 10% off standard monthly fees; 50% off standard enrollment fees*; Free, 7-day trial passes offered to members who bring proof of their membership to an Anytime Fitness club (one pass per person). Anytime Fitness honors health care fitness incentive programs. * Valid at participating locations. For a complete list of club locations, visit anytimefitness.com.
n QualSight LASIK Offers a 40% - 50% off the national average price savings on LASIK vision correction at over 700 locations nationwide. QualSight doctors are credentialed, Board Certified and use the latest FDA technologies. Call 877-507-4448 or visit qualsight.com/-MNFB for a doctor near you. n Clear Value Hearing 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 clearvaluehearing.com 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 www.fbfs.com 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 farmbureaubank.com 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. 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 Ready Mobile Budget-friendly, reliable nationwide coverage and no contract mobile phones and wireless services are available from Ready Mobile, an exclusive partner of Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. Farm Bureau members can save 10%. Visit readymobile.com and enter Promo Code MFBF to start saving today. You will need your membership number to verify your discount.
HOTEL n Choice Hotels Save 20% off rates at almost 5,000 hotels worldwide. Ascend, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, Cambria Suites, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Mainstay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotels, EconoLodge and Rodeway Inn. For reservations call 800-2582847 or log onto choicehotels.com. ID # 00209660. n Wyndham Hotel Group Farm Bureau members receive a rate up to 20% off at nearly 7,400 participating hotels. Call ahead to 877-670-7088 to make reservations at Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, Travelodge, Knights Inn, Wingate Inn, Baymont Inns & Suites, Dream Hotels, Night Hotels, TryP, Super 8, Microtel, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Garden, Wyndham Grand and Hawthorn Suites (10% discount). Refer to group number 8000002603. Visit wyndham.com. n NEW! Members save 10% at over 1,400 participating IHG Brand Hotels. Save 10% at over 1,400 participating hotels. IHG’s nine hotel 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 www.IHG.com, click on Advance Search option and enter in the Corporate ID# 100334603.
AUTOMOBILE n General Motors The GM 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 all 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models. Must be a member for at least 30 days prior to date of delivery. To obtain your GM certificate, go to fbadvantage.com, click on "Minnesota," enter in your member number (i.e. 9800000) and zip code. Questions can be directed to 651-768-2114. n Polaris Polaris is offering a utility vehicle incentive program 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 youth models.) Must be a member for at least 30 days and provide valid Polaris authorization certificate obtained at fbadvantage.com. n AAA Farm Bureau members receive up to a 20% discount off AAA membership, applies to new and renewal. Waiver of $10 enrollment fee for new members. For more information on this exclusive program, contact AAA at 800-677-2227. Be sure to mention that you are a Farm Bureau member and refer to Group #M875. aaa.com. n Avis Car Rental Save up to 25% on daily, weekend and weekly rates. For information and reservations, call 800-422-3809 or log onto avis.com. Mention your Avis worldwide discount number: Minnesota Farm Bureau, A298823.
EXTRA REWARDS n Theft & Arson Reward Service Rewards individuals up to $1,000 for offering information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) committing theft, arson or vandalism to property belonging to Farm Bureau members. Forms available at local Farm Bureau offices or call 651-768-2114. n No-Cost Accidental Death Insurance Accidental death insurance policy for the member, spouse and unmarried children younger than 22 years and living at home. The maximum amount of the policy is up to $2,000 for the member and spouse and $1,000 for the children. For more information call 651-768-2114. See fbmn.org. n Farm Bureau Marketer Farm Fresh Guide For the farmer who would like to sell their farm fresh items direct to the consumer. Publishes in the May edition and at fbmn.org. To be included contact Judy Pilcher, email@example.com, 651-768-2114, Fax: 651-768-2159 or visit fbmn.org.