Minnesota Farmers Give Organizations Input on 2018 Farm Bill

Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Hold Meeting in Moorhead to Discuss Ag Concerns

MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are traveling through the Land of 10,000 Lakes to meet with farmers and ag producers.

“We’ve pretty much covered all of the corners of the state,” said Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish. “We’re hearing a lot of input and getting a lot of feedback.”

Wertish said the open forum is for people to ask questions and share concerns about the year ahead in the ag industry.

Topics like health insurance and commodity prices were on the table as were questions about the F-M Diversion Project.

“Our farm is located in that staging area so we will have water impacts and we’re concerned for all of the farms in our community,” said organic farmer Mark Askegard. “We may lose our organic certification.”

One farmer said this was a good way to inform people in the area about what is going on.

“The Fargo–Moorhead area is probably not as aware when you get outside of the city limits of what is going on as far as the farm economy,” said farmer Milan Drewlow. “When farmers are doing well, the economies do well.”

Askegard said it’s a little early to make a strong prediction for the ag outlook, but is trying to stay positive.

“The farm economy is somewhat depressed because the ag commodity prices are low,” he explained. “It doesn’t look real promising for this coming year either as far as price increases so we’re hoping that costs are coming down somewhat but not proportionally with our revenue decline.”

“People don’t want to be talked to,” added Wertish. “They don’t want to preached to. They want to give their issue, their discussion, what’s affecting them on the farm and that’s important to us.”

Officials with the Minnesota Farmers Union said they are going to write up a report from these meetings and send it to the governor, state legislators and the commissioners in time for the 2018 Farm Bill.

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