Rep Finstad visits the Med City, discusses importance of Farm Bill to S. Minnesota

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester business leaders got a confidence boost on Tuesday morning from their local congressman.

Representative Brad Finstad was in Rochester for a chamber of commerce event and talked about what he wants to do for southern Minnesotans in the upcoming renewal for the bill.

While inflation is reducing, farmers and working class people are still struggling financially across southern Minnesota.

Over his summer break the Republican congressman has visited 20 of the 21 counties he represents and listed to what their priorities are and how the Farm Bill can help them, among other things.

Business and community leaders beat the heat early Tuesday morning to listen in on Finstad’s input on ‘kitchen table’ economics ahead of congresses return from summer break.

“We from a Federal government perspective need to create more stability,” said Finstad. “We need to make sure as we work on the appropriations process, as we work on the farm bill that we are taking into account some of the concerns that we heard today.”

The Farm Bill is one of those things people have concerns about. It will be the focal point for many across southeast Minnesota, including People’s Energy Co-op.

“The farm bill actually effects a lot of things,” said Tracy Lauritzen, a board member of People’s Energy Co-op. “Not just farmers, not just nutrition as he talked about here today. But it also effects the energy sector through our U.S. loans and things of that nature. So it’s really important that gets taken care of in an immediate fashion.”

A farmer from New Ulm himself, Finstad wants to do his best to ensure no one is left out of the benefits from the bill’s final draft.

“One of the great things is rarely in Congress do you get to enhance a bill that was already pretty good. We’re tweaking some of the edges on some programs to make sure it can serve more people and really serve the needs of rural communities,” he said.

And many at the event have confidence Finstad will be one of the Congress members to ensure the farm bill is passed easily by the end of September.

“It was nice to hear what he was going to be working on moving forward. It’s a little bit disappointing to hear that the policies and bills haven’t been moving along. Like ag reform, permitting reform, things of that nature but it is nice to hear that it’s still on the docket and hopefully some things will get done here in September,” said Lauritzen.

Once Congress resumes after Labor Day, Finstad says his top priority will be the Farm Bill. He expresses a lot more optimism for that bill to be passed compared to other legislative issues that will be at the forefront of congress in September.