Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Monday August 15, 2011
MFU President Doug Peterson thanks the many members and friends who stopped by the MFU booth at FarmFest in Redwood County. The MFU booth saw lots of activity and visits from Governor Mark Dayton, Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar as well as a visit from new U of M President Eric Kaler. MFU also hosted a first ever watermelon feed on Wednesday that was very successful and MFU President Peterson participated in a panel on the next farm bill. Checkout pictures from FarmFest on the MFU Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/mnfarmersunion?sk=photos
FFA members help with watermelon feed
The first ever watermelon feed at Farmfest turned out to be a success thanks to the cooperative work of both Minnesota Farmers Union and FFA members. KMS FFA members Kevin Krieger, Derek Krieger, Jared Krieger, Fred Mansfield, Brett Petersen, and Assistant FFA Advisor Cindy Krieger helped tremendously. Hutchinson FFA members Triston Callentine, Sarah Eggert, Katie Eggert, Alena Ave-Lallemant, and Mitchell Sims also helped a great deal on Wednesday, August 3rd as MFU hosted their first ever Watermelon feed at Farmfest.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday July 29, 2011
Minnesota Farmers Union will be holding its first ever watermelon feed at the forum tent on Wednesday, August 3 at 3:00 p.m. Be sure to stop by and sign up for a chance to win a Cenex gift card. This year Farmfest will be held August 2-4 at the Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls. “The Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) tent is located just west of the forum tent, so after you sit and listen to the debate in the forum tent, swing by the Farmers Union booth to check the ag markets, grab a cup of coffee or water and discuss what’s on your mind,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. Farmers Union will be well represented at the forum tent, and will be sure to get the Farmers Union voice heard.” As in years past, there is a lot of action under the forum tent. Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President, will be on a panel titled, "Designing the Next Farm Bill, Shaping the Future of Rural America” on Tuesday, August 2 at 10:30 a.m. Farmers Union Agency will be sponsoring the Pedal Pull contest every day at 1 p.m. near entrance gate 2. The contest is open to children ages 4-11.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Thursday July 7, 2011
NFU Energy Tour
MFU President Doug Peterson thanks the many friends and members who attended the Wednesday June 30th stop of the NFU energy tour at the University of Minnesota-Morris. The event in Morris featured speakers Rep. Torrey Westrom, Rep. Andrew Falk, MN FSA Director Linda Hennen, USDA Rural Development Energy Specialist Lisa Noty, Denny Timmerman with AURI, MDA Asst. Commissioner Charlie Poster, and others talking about renewable energy possibilities and policies. Attendees also heard from German farmer Dirk Ketleson who talked about energy projects in Germany and policies such as feed-in tariffs that have helped drive energy production for farmers. Attendees also went on a tour of the Morris campus viewing the new solar panels, wind turbines, and gasifier.
Today is day 7 of the Minnesota government shutdown. MFU is monitoring negotiations at the Capitol, and our policy supports a common sense approach to the budget situation that includes both reasonable cuts and enhancing revenues where it makes sense. MFU is hopeful both sides can come together.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday June 17th, 2011
MFU to host energy meeting
National Farmers Union (NFU) is having a Renewable Energy Tour with a stop in Morris on Wednesday, June 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Morris, in room 109, the “Cow Palace,” classroom of the Imholte Building. “This is a great opportunity for Minnesota to showcase all it has to offer in renewable energy,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Tuesday May 31, 2011
MFU disappointed the Legislature could not get more done this legislative session.
“MFU is in agreement with Governor Mark Dayton’s offer to the Legislature on the budget,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “The people of Minnesota deserve a fair and honest budget, not one that makes empty promises that could end up raising property taxes, cutting health care, local government aid and transportation, and hurting the most vulnerable of Minnesotans.”
MFU agrees with Governor Dayton’s veto of the Omnibus Health and Human Services bill because the bill would have revamped Minnesota Care. The Department of Human Services estimated that this action would result in thousands of working Minnesotans losing their health care. “Farmers have a variable income and many rural communities rely heavily on Minnesota Care. Cuts to Minnesota Care would be devastating to rural Minnesotans, and Minnesota Farmers Union will continue to fight to make sure those cuts do not happen,” said Peterson. MFU is disappointed the Legislature did not pass a tax bill the Governor could sign and we are concerned about the impact a tax bill will have on property taxes, local government aid and essential services for our local units of government.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Monday May 16, 2011
Farmers Union updates Farmer’s Share
It's costing more and more to fill that grocery bag these days, but that doesn't mean a windfall for local farmers. More than 80 percent of the retail food dollar goes to people other than the growers and producers, says Doug Peterson, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union. "It's the middle person, those people that buy from the farmer and sell to the consumer, the processors in between." The farmer's share of the retail food dollar, once at about 20 cents, has fallen to less than 16 cents. Peterson says that drop not only affects producers but also creates a ripple effect in their rural communities because there are fewer farm dollars to spend. Food prices are on the rise not because farmers are taking a greater share, Peterson says, but because of higher energy costs and limited outlets for products.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Monday May 2, 2011
MFU at Minnesota FFA convention
MFU President Doug Peterson is at the 82nd annual Minnesota FFA convention today at the University of Minnesota. MFU Education Director Glen Schmidt is also on hand and in charge of the MFU booth at the convention, MFU is proud to support FFA!
Environment Conference Committee meets
The House-Senate conference committee met this past week for the first time to discuss the differences in H.F. 1010/S.F. 1003, the Environment Finance and Policy bills. No action has been taken yet. MFU concerns in the bills are cuts to BWSR cost share grants, MPCA feedlot cost share, and cuts to SWCD programs. MFU also opposes language that seeks to modify feedlot permitting system that is in the Senate bill.
3/5ths Tax constitutional amendment
Rep. Steve Drazkowski has introduced H.F. 1598 that is a proposed constitutional amendment question for voters that would ask “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require a three-fifths vote of each house of the legislature to pass a law that increases state income, state sales, or property taxes?" If passed, the legislation is not subject to a Governor’s veto because it is a constitutional amendment question.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Tuesday April 19, 2011
MFU returns from fly-in
MFU President Doug Peterson and MFU members, Tom Clemen, Tim Velde and Richard Moen returned Thursday of last week from attending the spring Farmers Union fly-in to Washington D.C. Peterson reports good meeting with the Minnesota Congressional delegation and also the group heard from Rep. Frank Lucas, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday April 8, 2011
MFU President Doug Peterson thanks the many members and friends of MFU that have attended our “Shop Talk” meetings recently in Felton, Grygla, Isanti, Princeton, Wilmont, Nicollet, and Waseca. President Peterson reports good discussions on property taxes, LGA, DNR and land management, EPA regulations, wind issues, and the Federal Farm bill. MFU has 3 more upcoming meetings in Kensington, Motley, and Preston. Check out www.mfu.org for more information and go to “events”.
MFU heading to DC
Depending on a government shutdown, President Peterson is likely heading to D.C. this coming week for the spring NFU fly-in. Joining President Peterson will be Tom Clemen, Swift Co., Tim Velde, Yellow Medicine Co., and Richard Moen, Clearwater Co. The Fly-in is focusing on issues of conservation and energy.
Ag Conference Committee
The Agriculture Conference Committee will meet this Monday in St. Paul. Conferees are Sens. Magnus; Miller; Kubly; Nienow; Dahms and in the House Reps. Hamilton; Shimanski; Anderson; LeMieur; Eken.
otes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Monday March 21, 2011
NFU concludes National convention
NFU adjourned its 109th annual convention in San Antonio, Texas Wed. March 16. More than 500 Farmers Union members from across the country gathered to celebrate the past year’s achievements, look ahead to future challenges, and vote on the farm organization’s priorities for the coming year. “This was a very exciting convention,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We dealt with a wide variety of issues, from the 2012 Farm Bill to conservation to the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule to biotechnology and trade. Our members made their voices heard and set the policy that they want us to advocate for in the coming year.” The convention also featured numerous speakers, including U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager, former Sen. Byron Dorgan and former Texas Ag Commissioner Jim Hightower. Convention attendees also had the opportunity to hear from speaker panels on v “It’s extremely important to be as informed as possible when making policy choices,” said Johnson.