Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Thursday March 10, 2011
NFU convention starts this weekend!
MFU members and staff will be attending the National Farmers Union (NFU) convention in San Antonio, Texas March 13-15. MFU President Doug Peterson says the NFU convention is an important display of grass-roots policy making. Expected to be big issues are the South Korea Free Trade Agreement, discussion on dairy policy, and the farm bill. MFU delegates are Eunice Biel of Harmony, Dean Pederson of Gary, Brian Rohrenbach of Rosemount, Alan Teich from Pine City, Dolores Windingstad of Dawson, and President Peterson. Nearly 40 MFU members will be attending the convention.
Senate passes Ag license plate bill
This week the Minnesota Senate Transportation Committee passed by voice vote a bill that provides for a special agriculture license plate to be created. “The vote reflected support among the Senate Transportation Committee members. Agriculture and farming represents roughly 25 percent of Minnesota’s economy and provides thousands of jobs in Minnesota,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “It is the policy of Minnesota Farmers Union that recognition be given to family farmers in the form of a license plate.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday February 25, 2011
MFU Board meeting
MFU President Doug Peterson thanks the over 50 County Presidents who attended the MFU Board meeting last Saturday in St. Cloud. The county president’s heard from Dave Frederickson, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and passed two special orders. The first special order was regarding the repeal of the 1099 provision of the Affordable Health Care Act of America of 2009, which requires businesses, including farms, to file 1099 forms for every transaction of $600 and above. MFU feels this provision is excessive and unnecessary. The second special order that passed calls for the state to adopt a “no net gain of state owned land” to the extent possible, and work to identify lands that could be sold or leased to farmers and ranchers. It also asked the Department of Natural Resources to utilize and expand the concept of “working lands” and concentrate on easements and partnerships with local landowners to protect the environment, water quality and wildlife and not focus on acquisitions.
Dayton releases budget
Governor Mark Dayton has released his $ 37 billion 2012-2013 budget proposal.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday February 11th, 2011
Lobby Day Complete
MFU President Doug Peterson thanks all of the MFU members who took time out of their busy schedules to join MFU at the Capitol Tuesday February 8th for MFU Lobby day. We had a great turnout! MFU members had 40 different meetings with legislators, attended the House Agriculture Committee, and met with Governor Mark Dayton, SOS Mark Ritchie, and Attorney General Lori Swanson. MFU members talked about property taxes, the budget, health care, outdoor issues and many other issues. Checkout the MFU Facebook Page for pictures from the lobby day at: MFU Facebook Also, the Rochester TV Station KTTC did a great story that features Wabasha Co. MFU President Edwin Jostock, check it out here: http://www.kttc.com/Global/story.asp?S=13993503
Young MFU member featured
11 year old MFU member Jason Thormodson (son of John and Brenda Thormodson) was featured in Governor Dayton’s State of the State speech given on Wednesday.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union
MFU testifies before Senate
MFU President Doug Peterson testified last week before the Senate Agriculture Committee on the make-up of MFU and MFU’s legislative priorities. Among the legislative priorities discussed; support for a strong agriculture budget, property taxes, energy and local foods.
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) also testified last week before the House and Senate on the work they do for value-added agriculture. AURI has been involved in over 700 projects in Minnesota in the last 5 years, and adds $1.90 in outside investment for every dollar the state invests in AURI. Julie Bleyhl serves as the MFU member on the AURI board, to learn more check out: www.auri.org
Swheat Scoop on Animal Planet
During AURI’s testimony they also mentioned a product AURI assisted in the development of; Swheat Scoop which is now owned by Farmers Union Industries and operates out of Detroit Lakes will be featured on a show called “All about Cats” on March 5th at 8:00 p.m. For more info on Swheat Scoop checkout: http://www.swheatscoop.com/about
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday January 21, 2011
Legislative session progressing
MFU President Doug Peterson spent time at the Capitol this week meeting with key legislators including new House Ag Committee Chairman Rod Hamilton. In addition MFU is working their way through the list of legislators with meetings, and is also busy preparing for a great MFU lobby day on Feb. 8th, so far we are getting a good response to those who can join us! Now if the weather cooperates!
Among the issues MFU discussed with Chairman Hamilton was the idea to hold part of a hearing on the issue of dairy cows and stray voltage. MFU has heard from a few members lately on this issue, and last week I met with some farmers in Stearns County to see first hand some of the issues. In addition, Rep. Bruce Anderson, an 8 term veteran of the legislature is serving his first stint on the Ag Committee and has stated that stray voltage is among the issues he is interested in.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday Sept. 10th, 2010
MFU members headed to D.C.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Monday August 23, 2010
MFU President Doug Peterson is out at the Minnesota State Fair as I write this update putting the finishing touches on the MFU booth on Dan Patch Avenue! The Fair begins this Thursday August 26th and runs until Labor Day Monday September 6th. Be sure to stop by the MFU booth to visit or buy a yardstick to lean on! And of course don't forget to get a cup of coffee from the best coffee place at the fair (or a mocha bar). Also, remember maybe the best part of the MFU booth, stop by the back patio to take a break or catch up with old friends.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday July 23, 2010
MFU President Doug Peterson letter to editor on GISPA rule
John F. Kennedy once said, "The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways." The dinner tables of America need farmers to receive a fair price, and that is why Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) was pleased to hear that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a proposed rule change to the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).
The proposed rule would bring common sense to GIPSA and change the current system of how livestock are procured and marketed by meat packers. The rule includes several new provisions that will grant protection to producers from previous marketing barriers, which have favored the packers, with a goal of defining and changing unfair and unreasonable practices in the industry.
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday June 11, 2010
MFU President testifies before U.S. Senate Subcommittee
Notes from the Minnesota Farmers Union Friday April 30, 2010
House, Senate pass Agriculture Policy bill
This past week the MN House passed HF 2737 the omnibus agriculture policy bill 127-3, the Senate passed their bill April 19th 66-0. The Senate has already appointed Sens. Skogen, Vickerman and Dille as conferees. The House will likely appoint their conferees on Monday. The bill includes many pieces of legislation MFU has worked on including bovine Tb, the corporate farm law, wind easements, 4-H, ethanol, priority for feed dealers in Farmer-Lender mediation, and the House bill also includes industrial hemp language. Members who have specific questions about the bill should contact me. Here is a link for more info: HF 2737
Tax bills moving