U.S. House Candidates Talk Ag At FarmFest

By Shawn Loging, Morgan, Minnesota - With fewer than 100 days until the 2016 general election, Farmfest again drew candidates running for office.

While most of the focus has been on the presidential race, there are other elected offices up for grabs.

Candidates running for Minnesota's first, sixth and seventh U.S. House districts are making their case when it comes to issues of agriculture.

Congressmen Tim Walz, (D)-Minnesota, said, "It's about valuing the land, it's about valuing hard work, it's about wanting an honest shake and it's about understanding that when your neighbors down. A hand up once in a while is not the same as a handout."

U.S. House Candidate Jim Hagedorn, (R), said, "We need to reform our government so our economy can expand and create high-wage jobs; we need regulatory reform, tax reform, welfare reform, energy independence."

The FarmFest forum includes First District incumbent Democratic Congressmen Tim Walz and Republican challengers Jim Hagedorn and Steve Williams.

The candidates were asked a number of questions about trade, the 2018 Farm Bill...

Walz said, "One percent of the population is feeding 100 percent plus of the world, we need to make our case, where we don't have a lot of representation due to population, that we are effective."

... To regulation...

Hagedorn said, "I support the REINS Act. That means that any major regulation before it hits the farmers, small business and consumer must be affirmed by the Congress, by the house and senate, otherwise it doesn't apply."

...and Genetically Modified Organisms.

Williams said, "GMO's should just be considered conventional agriculture, which goes along with the herbicides and the pesticides that we have to spray."

As the candidates discuss what they'll do if elected, any discussion about politics wouldn't be complete without at least addressing the presidential race, specifically what the two candidates have said they'll do for agriculture, or the lack thereof."

Williams said, "Part of the reason they're probably not talking about it is because there's not enough of us left, we've been merged out of existence."

Primary elections are next week, Aug. 9 and the general election Nov. 8.

--KEYC News 12