Stalled bill tops agenda at farmers conventionby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
Members of the Minnesota Farmers Union are planning a strategy to try to persuade the lame-duck Congress to pass the stalled farm bill. The Minnesota farmers are meeting this weekend at their 71st annual convention.
Several members of Minnesota congressional delegation are speaking at the event, which is being held Saturday and Sunday at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis. Union president Doug Peterson said members are also discussing how to make the most of the new DFL-controlled state Senate and House.
"I think Minnesota Farmers Union will be well-positioned because many of our leadership positions within the ag bill and other key committees, those people are farmers union members and are known quite well throughout the halls of the state Capitol as to what our issues are," Peterson said. "And we'll be front and center making sure that farmers of rural Minnesota are being taken care of."
Peterson added that he thinks the federal farm bill will pass this session. "The farm bill is for nutrition, it's for certainty for farmers and stability for price and ... it really is a stable piece so that next year, farmers can plan to plant without having the disruptions of a political free-for-all," he said.
Peterson said the convention will also address federal estate tax reform, renewable energy, water quality and protection for livestock from wild animals that may carry disease.
Gov. Mark Dayton was scheduled to speak to the farmers union on Saturday night.
• Follow Rupa Shenoy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rupashenoy