Sen. Amy Klobuchar expressed her desire for a new farm bill during a breakfast summit with MSGA directors Tuesday in Lake Benton, Minn.
Klobuchar said she had a “good feeling” about the Senate Farm Bill, but lamented the disagreements in the House Farm Bill over funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“We need to focus on getting a farm bill done,” Sen. Klobuchar said.
Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Director Bob Worth, a Lincoln County farmer and mayor of Lake Benton, hosted the breakfast and talked to the Senator about the concerns of farmers in a down farm economy.
“Farm income is down fifty percent in just the past five years,” Worth said. “Farming’s a tough occupation right now.”
Worth was joined by fellow MSGA Directors Joel Schruers, Ron Bunjer and Brian Fruechte. Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka and the organization’s Senior Director of Product Development and Commercialization Mike Youngerberg also attended.
Potential Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans were also a hot topic throughout the meeting. The farmer leaders implored Sen. Klobuchar to work with the Trump administration to find a solution to the potentially devastating tariffs.
“We’ve got to make sure ag isn’t a pawn in the game, because, quite honestly, we might not fully come back from it,” Slunecka said.
After breakfast, Klobuchar appeared on Worth’s local radio show, and walked around the block to the BP fuel station to fill Minnesota Soybean’s truck with B20 (20 percent biodiesel). On May 1, Minnesota became the first state to have a B20 minimum blending requirement during the summer months. While discussing biofuels, Klobuchar said she’ll continue to defend the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“By every measure, biodiesel has been a success for Minnesota’s farmers and economy,” she said. “(B20) is quite a milestone.”
Worth said he was pleased with the dialogue with the Senator.
“I think we had a wonderful visit with Sen. Klobuchar. We had a chance to dig into some policy concerns that MSGA has, and hear her take on those issues,” Worth said. “It’s always great to see the Senator. It’s an honor to have a sitting senator here in Lake Benton.”