Farmers Union hosts ‘Meet the Candidates’ event

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(ABC 6 News) – We are now in the final stretch ahead of the November 8th election.

Wednesday evening, the Olmsted County Farmers Union hosted a “Meet the Candidates” event in Byron.

Several state House and Senate candidates were invited to attend.

The event was an opportunity for local lawmakers and candidates to sit among our local farmers and answer their questions along with letting them know that the government is there to help family farms here in our area.

Senator Carla Nelson, Representatives Duane Quam, and Liz Boldon were in attendance along with Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson.

Several other area candidates from across southern Minnesota were also in attendance not to campaign but to show support for local farmers.

This was the first time the Minnesota Farmers union has done something like this but they say it was very successful.

“Something that you know, 2 percent of us are actually farming, and providing food, fiber and those type of things, fuel to the nation and to the world actually. We feed the world. And we want to talk to the candidates about the topics that are near and dear to our heart,” said Gail Donkers from the Minnesota Farmers Union.

“There’s been a lot of talk about government being a boot on your neck, but for me, I see government as more of a life vest when you desperately need one. I think in a situation where if you are a farmer and you are struggling maybe with your family farm or are at risk of losing your family farm, and you have heard these stories from people who have had that experience firsthand. If they could have had a resource that they could have reached out to for assistance, I assume they would have taken it,” DFL candidate for MN House District 20B Elise Diesslin said.

Over a dozen candidates attended and nearly all of them had experience either growing up on a farm or have specialized in work with farmers or serving on an agriculture board.

Rep. Duane Quam at one point said sometimes it’s too scary to reach out, but he says they need to change that.