October 23, 2017
Farmer members of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association are offering to host visits from the state’s gubernatorial candidates this fall.
The goal is to make connections with candidates from both political parties and offer them the opportunity to visit with farmers, and see and experience a working farm.
HARVEST TECHNOLOGY: Farmer Les Anderson talks about the various machinery and software technologies in his combine cab with State Rep. Erin Murphy during the gubernatorial candidate’s on-farm visit Oct. 13.
MCGA board member Les Anderson and his wife, Jeannie, hosted a few candidates in mid-October on their 1,000-acre corn and soybean farm near Welch, Minn. State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-64A) was the farm’s first gubernatorial candidate visitor. Murphy currently represents the Summit Hill neighborhood in St. Paul, Minn. She is a former executive director of the Minnesota Nurses Association and is a registered nurse.
Anderson walked Murphy around the farmstead, followed by a small entourage consisting of MCGA staff and media. He shared his farm’s history, how the barn was built in 1884 and that his dad bought the farm in the 1950s. The farm originally produced wheat, and has dairy and hogs. Now it focuses on crop production.
Murphy, who lives in St. Paul, grew up in Wisconsin. Her grandfather farmed, raising tobacco and milking cows, and she recalled childhood visits there. She also shared that she had driven a combine in corn before. When Anderson asked her if she’d like to harvest some beans — they were two weeks behind due to rain — she was ready.
During their short harvest ride in the cab together, Anderson and Murphy discussed several topics — water quality, health insurance, grain markets, crop prices, technology and conservation.
Both were glad to be able to meet and discuss agricultural issues pertinent to Minnesota farmers.
CAB CHAT: Spending time in the cab and harvesting soybeans provided State Rep. Erin Murphy with the opportunity to learn more about Minnesota agriculture from corn and soybean farmer Wes Anderson.
“It’s always good to get information from the ag community,” Murphy says. “We need to know what works and doesn’t work for Minnesota.”
She notes that she likes to build relationships with people — going beyond the photo op — so they know they can call her. She adds that she is running for governor not to win for a specific party, but because she believes there are issues that need work.
“I’m a persuader, not a whipper,” adds the former House majority leader.
MCGA staff planned to host 13 major gubernatorial candidates this fall on farms. Invitations to gubernatorial candidates were extended in the summer as part of the “MN Corn Grows MN” campaign, which was launched to build better connections with candidates and to encourage a more informed dialogue about corn production. For more information, visit mncorngrowsmn.org.
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