Around 50 members of the Minnesota Farm Bureau have traveled to Nashville, Tennessee this week for the Federations 99th Annual meeting.
Megan Roberts works for the University of Minnesota Extension and said it was an honor to represent Minnesota and compete in the Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet.
“Really a fun experience to hone my communication skills, learn more about the topics that are facing agriculture today and just get to meet other young farmers and ranchers from across the country.”
She said it is an important time to have the meeting with many important issues facing the agriculture sector.
“Certainly the Farm Bill is hugely important and we have some other major things, you know tax reform just went through and I don’t think we totally understand how those things are going to impact agriculture right now. So, it’s important to get together and talk about those hot button issues.”
Roberts and her husband live on a farm east of Madelia in Blue Earth County, raising hogs and soybeans.
Bruce White, Agriculture Instructor at South Central College said one of the biggest challenges, health insurance, was heavily discussed at the meeting.
“I think the biggest concern was, there was no movement after that last bill was passed. As far as being able to go across line and to do some of the things that they need to do. It sounds like we should be able to start forming some coops with the health insurance and stuff. You know, there just was no movement in the beginning.”
He adds that the convention also serves as a tool to help establish connections in the industry and gain insight on transition in Agriculture.
“I think everybody is hoping that we’re going to see some kind of movement to help some of these younger guys. Because some of these beginning and farmers that have been there for a few years now, haven’t seen the kind of downturn that we’re in right now.”
Over 6-thousand members are attending the annual Farm Bureau meeting which runs through Wednesday.