Hello from St. Paul,
Minnesota's 'Farm Families of the Year' were unveiled by the University of Minnesota at Farmfest this week, and I was proud to be on hand to congratulate those from our House district who received the honor.
All of these families have made significant contributions to the success of agriculture in our House district and our state, and I'm pleased they have been recognized by the U of M.
Neal and Theresa Klassen are this year's recipients from Swift County. The Klassen family is the third generation to farm their land near Benson, raising mostly corn and soybeans with wheat in the rotation some years.
Hettver Farms, consisting of Floyd, Kerry, Kirby and Chris Hettver are the winners from Chippewa County. The brothers represent the fifth generation on their farm, and produce corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.
Dan and Beth Elliot have received the honor from Renville County. Their family farm was established in 1961, and they raise nearly two thousand acres of corn and soybeans in addition to operating a small vineyard.
Kandiyohi County's recipients are members of the Larson Knisley family. Margaret Larson Knisley moved to the farm site that was originally owned by her grandparents in 1991. The farm is home to a commercial flock of Polypay ewes, while corn, soybeans, barley and alfalfa are also raised. All members of the Knisley family – Avery, Brandon, Courtney, Erin Gaige, and Kelly – are involved in the farming operation.
These folks continue to make a positive impact in our communities while upholding the tradition of family farming. I congratulate them all for receiving this award and wish them continued success in the future.
Last week I also attended a buffer meeting in Olivia. It was reported that roughly 150 packed the room to learn more about this new state law.
You'll recall that Governor Dayton wanted to require a 50-foot buffer of perennially rooted vegetation adjacent to ditches, rivers and streams under a one-size-fits-all program that would have been overseen by the State of Minnesota last session. The agreement that was ultimately passed into law focused on following current law and insisted that local officials administer the program in exchange for expediting the timeline of completing buffer installation. For farmers, this means if you have already been following existing statute along your ditches, this new law will have no impact. Otherwise, you have a few years to prepare.
Finally, its been great visiting with so many of you at the Chippewa and Kandiyohi county fairs and visiting the many exhibits and shows.
I will also be attendance at the gatherings in Swift and Renville counties in the coming weeks, so please feel free to stop by and visit and share your legislative thoughts and concerns.
Have a great weekend,