I grew up in rural America. My grandfather farmed beans until the 1980s farm crisis forced him out. My 93-year-old grandmother still lives near that same land where my grandfather spent so much of his life, and she tills and plants her own garden each year. That’s why one of the first things I did was ask Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota for a chance to serve on the Agriculture Committee so that I could work every day for Minnesota’s family farmers. The second district is home to more than 4,000 farms – over 90% of which are family farms.
At every opportunity I’ve had, I’ve brought family farmers to the policy-making table. I’ve started a farmer advisory group, hosted farmers at the State of the Union and Congressional hearings. It’s important to elevate these stories, and I’ll always fight for sound farm policy whether that’s pushing back against the reckless trade war with China or advocating for year-round sales of E-15.
Reliable Trade Markets for Agricultural Exports
I know that the trade war is hurting our farmers. I worked to stabilize North American markets by helping to finalize and supporting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. But to keep our agricultural economy growing and to provide our farmers with the stability they need, we must push for trade policies that expand markets and drive growth — and hold this Administration accountable when their policies hurt our farmers and destabilize global markets like China.
I oppose every continued attempt to use our farmers as political pawns in the trade war or in any part of partisan politics. I’ve worked with members of both parties – and have challenged my own party leadership – to ensure that Minnesota family farmers have the resources they need to thrive, and the support they need to get through extreme weather events and unstable economic times. This extends to physical and mental health as well: I will continue to lead efforts to expand rural broadband access and health care resources like community health and telehealth services.
Year-Round E-15 Sales
Allowing year-round sales of E-15 is a big win for our state. It is a market-based solution that allows for economic growth while also reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Strong Renewable Fuel Standards
Minnesota has taken a leading role in producing homegrown energy, providing clean, renewable energy and reducing our reliance on foreign oil. I will always fight to hold the current Administration accountable for lining the pockets of Big Oil while breaking its commitments on biofuel to small family farmers. I continue to work to maintain a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and lead the effort to make Minnesota a leader in homegrown energy.
Mental Health Support in All Communities
I’ve had conversations with folks who have explained that too often, farmers feel isolated. So I introduced a bill that would expand mental health services in rural communities, and especially for our family farmers.