Walz Hosts Listening Session on Beginning Farmers & Ranchers
ROCHESTER, MN – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Tim Walz (MN-01) welcomed constituents of Minnesota’s First Congressional District and local leaders in agriculture, sustainability and the grocery industry to identify and discuss priorities for the next Farm Bill that promote, and break down barriers for, the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
“Ensuring our next generation of producers has the tools it needs to overcome barriers to entry and sustain a living while feeding, fueling, and clothing the world is one of our highest responsibilities as a nation,” said Rep. Walz. “Together, we have accomplished a good deal toward this end through the 2014 Farm Bill, and we must keep that momentum going. Thank you to all who joined me to discuss the future of agriculture in the U.S. It was important to hear about what has worked well and where we can make improvements. As we ramp up debate on the next Farm Bill, I will continue to seek your advice and expertise as I push for a national beginning farmer and rancher strategy that works and lasts.”
Attendees at yesterday’s listening session included:
- Brad Smith, Member Services, People’s Food Co-op
- Liz Haywood, Rochester Store Manager, People’s Food Co-op
- Board Members, People’s Food Co-op
- Tom Nussmeier, Land Stewardship Project
- Ben Anderson, Land Stewardship Project
- Gary Miller, Minnesota Farmers Union
- Area Members, Minnesota Farmers Union
Numerous provisions of Rep. Walz’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013 were incorporated into the 2014 Farm Bill, or the Agricultural Act of 2014. Specifically, the 2014 Farm Bill helps new producers access credit; increases land access for beginning farmers, removes barriers to accessing crop insurance; promotes land stewardship; invests in farm training programs; and provides assistance to veterans hoping to begin a life in farming.
Rep. Walz is a member of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, which has already begun holding hearings on a wide range of topics to set the stage for the next Farm Bill.