Governor Jesse Ventura's speech on the states role in dealing with the farm crisis at the Minnesota Rural Summit in Duluth last week. Plus reaction from Marcie Mclaughlin, Director of Minnesota Rural Partners and Representative Tim Finseth, chair of the Agricultural Policy committee in the house
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(00:00:10) Good afternoon, and welcome back to mid-day of Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten glad you could join us. There's a big rally scheduled this Saturday out in Waconia. It's being billed as the Minnesota rural Unity day rally and is the culmination of a week-long series of meetings held by Minnesota senator Paul wellstone that are going on even as we speak around the state. The idea here is to discuss the farm crisis and what might be done about the farm crisis for the most part those meetings this week and the rally this weekend focus on what the federal government can do to help farmers, but the state is also been involved in responding to the crisis last spring you'll recall the Minnesota Legislature approved spending 70 million dollars on Aid to Farmers and there are those who say that more State assistance is going to be needed in the future. Last week, however, Governor Jesse Ventura raised some eyebrows when he all but ruled out any such additional emergency aid Governor spoke last week at the Minnesota. Rural Summit that was held in Duluth today on midday were going to hear what the governor had to say. Then we'll be talking with two key officials working on Rural Development issues and we'll be opening the phone lines as well for your thoughts. First of all. Oh, let's hear from Governor. Jesse Ventura speaking some unpleasant truths as he put it at the Minnesota rural (00:01:31) Summit today. I'm going to talk about three things number one. It's time to quit talking about rural crisis and start talking about rural change coping and common sense that's personal responsibility. Number two, it's time to get our arms around a long-term strategy that makes Financial sense for Rural, Minnesota. That's about finding an appropriate role for state government in defined accountable responsive ways working together with other partners. and number three it's time to cultivate the next wave of Civic leaders in rural Minnesota who can work closely with individuals families employers and organized groups to Breathe new life into communities that Civic involvement of the hardest kind right there at home. I want to start with this mindset about change coping and Common Sense instead of crisis. Since I have been Governor there have been a series of so-called disasters. depressed hog prices 100 mile winds flooded Farm fields Those just name a few. In every instance. I've heard Governor come and save us or more feudal yet Washington come and save us. Time and again, there is the temptation to look to government with a mixture of Hope and anger. We have cultivated in this country a breed of politician who will pledge to make things better. Standing knee-deep in water or in the presence of tears at a kitchen table surrounded by hurting families. There is the great temptation to make promises. We shouldn't make promises. Especially those we cannot keep. With taxes hovering near 50 cents on the dollar. The public has spoken out strongly in favor of tax cuts. The public is stroke spoken out strongly in favor of more accountability for everything that government does. that includes rural people Who would rather have money in their pockets then descend it to st. Paul or Washington this year? We did send some of it back. The sales tax tax rebate checks are literally in the mail as we speak and next year income taxes will see a permanent decrease. But remember and remember, well, it's physics. What is the first law of physics how many took physics? Whoops laughs just the Press. Now how many past (00:05:51) physics? (00:05:54) It's okay. I got to see my past. But remember it's physics when we think about government for every action. What's the first law of physics for every action? There's an equal reaction when something happens here something happens here. You can't cut taxes without seriously reconsidering cutting spending the to can't happen in government with the one without the other as I always tell my staff. Nothing costs zero any dollar government spends comes from someplace else. I would be misleading you at this rural Summit not to start with this simple honest truth. And he dollar that gets spent on Rural Development or Agra leaf or offsetting declining enrollment in public schools needs to be carefully considered based on what makes Common Sense over the long term not what makes for good Band-Aid makes for a good Band-Aid over a crisis. Let's look at the difference long term or a quick fix Band-Aid. When people are in crisis, they are living day-to-day not looking ahead. Leaders help people see further than just tomorrow. Leaders help remind people that there is support all across, Minnesota. In fact, just a quick phone call or a quick drive from anyone's home. Leaders remind people who feel they are in a crisis that Solutions come from accepting changes. Taking a learning attitude and getting help if that's what is needed to find a solution. Leaders. Are you at this Summit? In almost every rural community or nearby Regional Center is a quality higher education Institution. At a time of almost full employment are great individual challenge is to stay skilled for the next job that we need or the next job that needs us. At a time when many people in our agricultural economy are whiplashed by fast changes and not many of them good ones. It's important for farmers and their families to connect with many local County state and federal services that are already funded to provide help. Maybe it's the extension service for financial help. Maybe it's the University of Minnesota Crookston putting together a package for the next great marketing idea. Maybe it's encouragement to take advantage of mental health services and turn the paralysis of personal stress into new abilities to make good decisions. What I do know isn't the answer. Is that one-size-fits-all short-term government bailout time and time again? It looks good in an election year. These short-term bailouts. Oh, yeah, it looks good there. but if that type of thinking solved anything ladies and gentlemen, we wouldn't be in this room today would we I told you you're getting the truth Government Solutions will always be more expensive. less flexible and less effective than an individual's Solutions, especially in a so-called crisis We already spend thirty three billion every two years on all funds everything from tourism to education to Workforce Development to technology. To suggest that we are not already up to our elbows with rural development would be a serious serious mistake. In fact a significant share of the budget is readest redistributed from the metro area to rural Minnesota for all kinds of programs including Healthcare higher ed K through 12 and local government AIDS The next wave of questions are about what our state needs to be to be healthy compared to healthy competitive State and what it means to have healthy vital communities in a time of Rapid change all over. Some of this is a very big picture policy discussion. Some of it isn't the health of mainstream rural communities has a lot more to do with whether people who live in that town actually shop there. Or whether they drive 30 miles to the nearest Walmart. Or had all the way to the Mall of America. The ability to keep a rural doctor nearby also depends upon whether local people will trust their care or prefer to drive to a regional center to see a network of specialists. One of the best thinkers in Minnesota on this subject is right in this room today commissioner Jerry Carlson. Another one is legendary for his work finding a new way to align Services Human Services commissioner Michael O'Keefe. Both of these big thinkers are serving in my cabinet right now. With the likes of what I consider other big thinkers like met Council chair Ted Mondale Finance commissioner Pam Wheelock Revenue Commissioner, Matt Smith. They are not afraid to ask tough questions about the changing state that we live in they are not afraid to say no to short-term thinking. Together the cabinet and I have cautioned the sprawling Metro areas to think about smart growth. And together we will challenge you to imagine a different rural Minnesota than the one that has existed in this last half-century. If this is making you feel uncomfortable. Then I'm doing my job. I came to this job for results not politics. As you may have figured out by now. I don't care about someone's political party. I don't care about doing something because it's politically correct or the politically correct thing to do. I'm dead serious about protecting a balanced budget and living by budget principles that I've written down which if any of you desire to get them they'll be on the table over there to my left. And we'll distribute as many we didn't realize the crowd would be so big. So share if you need to. And we have those principles here at this Summit for you all to read and they are principles of common sense that I will stick by I would ask you to read these budget principles and communicate with me or my staff. If you feel that they don't represent. I say don't represent Minnesota common sense. As of right now they have guided us through one by annual budget and they are set up to guide me through my second one. You can hold my Administration to them. So what do the Ventura budget principles mean for Rural Development? That leads me into the second thing. I want to talk about today government's role in rural development. Government should do that which individuals cannot do for themselves. That's a quote from President Abraham Lincoln. Let me repeat it again government should do that which individuals cannot do for themselves. And I believe that. What government does it should do? Well, we need to evaluate for results reform programs that are not working and be willing to live within our means. Those are all budget principles published in those sheets. We also need to provide incentives for doing the right things. Put decisions closest to people County beat State State beats Federal every time. I'll give you a good example of what I'm talking about right now. And it's a very hot subject that guess what it's going to get even hotter. It's about Farm relief. Last session I stood firm for spending 10 million on targeted relief to Farmers who were hurting. I figured that we could let families decide set up a system to let them apply at their County offices for property tax relief and spread the money over a number of years. This was 10 million for one year there would be additional monies for years down the road because I knew this crisis was longer than one year. Nothing in me said this crisis if you will was going to end anytime soon. To me. This is a huge rural development issue agriculture problems have topped the list of requests for me to travel and listen and fix problems. The legislature you may remember decided to do it differently. Over my objections 70 million was spent this year. this one year for Relief to every farmer all of them. This included hobby Farmers farmers who made money last Year everybody. Guess what? Yesterday a planeload of my Commissioners and staff all appointed to something. I call the farm cabinet went to Northwestern Minnesota to listen to Farmers. Anybody here want to guess what they heard? Anybody not pretty close? One legislator publicly asked me to call a special session for more relief. One farmer in the room asked what we were going to do next year when the crisis is still going on. folks we spent it all. It's gone. In one year, that's the what was the legislators choice now? I allowed this to happen. I didn't sign the bill and if those of you that don't know how the system works when a bill comes to the governor, he can sign it he can veto it or he can simply not sign it and in three days at passes into law. Well my I took of you and I said look, This is the wrong decision to make but there are farmers that need help so badly. I'm not going to veto it because you know if I had a vetoed it what would happen? Big newspaper articles Governor doesn't support Farms rest assured if I did that that's what you would have read about in The Press. So I chose to Simply allow the legislature to make their decision and I allowed it to pass into law without my signature. I did that for the reason to show that I did not support this type of spending over a one-year period because ladies and gentlemen, I knew or I had strong suspicions of what lay down the road. And certainly I think I'm correct. It's time to cope with change and use common sense. Because we stand firm for targeting and decide that that's not about giving something to everybody. Or we give up on tax cuts and balanced budgets and just hand out relief one year after another after another after another. I'm proud of the consistent position. I took even though at every turn I ran the risk as I still do that. I will be accused of not being for farmers. Nothing absolutely. Nothing could be further from the truth. But the right thing to do was the hard thing. And I went on this road alone over at the Capitol. the bottom line is that we need a better handle on what government ought to do when individuals cannot my vision for Rural Minnesota is not the one that really matters. It's yours your decision for Rural, Minnesota. But we're working very hard my Administration to get our arms around what the state government's role should be. The next big census will almost surely show that we are continuing to flock to big cities. With that comes high class sizes. Housing shortages a healthcare crunch congested roads the need for mass transit demand for more technology Investments more Public Safety and on and on and on. It's expensive and the problems are very very real. There is a rural flip side to these problems that you understand all too. Well. We no sooner put out the biggest K through 12 budget the States history than the rural schools were asking for funding for Phantom students to help with declining enrollment. We no sooner put together a critically important Initiative for light rail Transit that will help all of Minnesota. Not just those commuting in inner-city. Then there was an uproar about the new Administration not supporting rural roads and bridges. I had already said many times that those items belong in next year's bonding bill. It's got to stop being about Urban versus rural or Metro versus out State. That's no more constructive than trying to get attention for a crisis every time something beyond our control happens. Over the next months every single one of my Commissioners will be involved in answering this central question. Where are we heading? And what is the role of state government? Can it be better coordinated? Yes. Some of you may have ideas about how that could happen right now, and we need to hear about them. There will be changes in a way the executive branch looks at functions during my term. Once we get a have a total handle on everything that's already in place. This may strike you as peculiar But realize that my first tour of government took over one month. And I only met a fraction of the 49,000 employees who are on the payroll. That basic lack of communication and Alignment which has been further confused. By the way, the legislature sets up pet projects that don't connect for anything else has hurt rural development. No more ladies and gentlemen quick fixes. In addition with your help and support. I believe we can identify and free up resources within the existing budget working together. We can go to Washington DC with Federal policies that stand in the way of progress. We've already tackled the stupid 60 year old law that sets milk prices based on how far away the cow is from Eau Claire minute, Wisconsin. Excuse me. I'm used to talk in, Minnesota. Oh Claire, Wisconsin. Let me tell you that was mind-boggling to me when I saw that. I don't get it. What is Eau Claire Wisconsin got to do with dairy farming other than there's tons of cows around? So I looked at the situation and said when I learned about it and said well to make it fair. Let's switch to Beaumont, Texas. I had my staff look up and they reported back to me. There isn't one milk cow in the county of Beaumont, Texas. So I thought at least that would give us 1,100 miles for our Dairy Farmers, but I think you know, what's all together better ladies and Gentlemen, let's tear down these archaic laws and regulations and allow our farm and Rural communities to compete because we are the best we have the best and we have the best technology to compete worldwide. We just need to get the government doggone it out of the way. Here's another one that's coming. If we want to promote Innovation by farmers. Why are new alternative crops eligible for federal crop insurance? Isn't it interesting that only one barrier is standing in the way? Of what could well be a lucrative hemp crop in Minnesota. Guess what? It is federal policy. Ladies and gentlemen, I think it's time we Unite with an effort and tell the federal government that we in Minnesota can create our own policies and take care of ourself, and we certainly don't need them to make that decision for us these and other things directly affect the main streets of rural, Minnesota. shoulders international trade It is the job of state government to connect the world with Minnesota products. Commissioner. Carlson keeps telling me go where the money is. So off we go to Japan this November some of you may not know the Japanese television carried my Inauguration live. Of course, I wasn't wearing a double-breasted suit at the time. I became well-known there. But they still like me and they're very fond of me. Whether it's Japanese, the Japanese are the Germans or the Canadians or any of our other huge trading partners. I pledge to capitalize on the interest in our try partisan experiment to keep the world's consumer dollar coming to Minnesota. Commissioner Carlson also tells me the business needs to go where the workers are. Rural, Minnesota. This is your day. The department of trade and economic development has a strategy to tie growth of the Twin Cities companies with communities around the state where there are available workers. Maybe even relocate workers who are interested in living in a community where there are lower class sizes affordable housing and a great great quality of Rural Life imagine that by the year 2010 if you mark it well, you could turn around the next census and show professionals moving back to you. But there are successes already. Two weeks ago and Tronics International open to high-tech plant in Eveleth over 100 good paying jobs are being added there thanks to this company that is based in Plymouth, Minnesota. Why because there are skilled available workers in northeastern, Minnesota. insa Becca in central, Minnesota Cross Consulting expanded to provide Ives provide software programming services for Northwest Airlines in both cases the department of trade and economic development was important in making these expansions work. Well for Rural Minnesota, it also works well for urban Minnesota because we are at a common sense point of needing to grow smart instead of just sprawl, you know for so long. The Twin Cities is dealt with sprawl like you deal with confetti in the Wind. Throw it up and see where it goes. Well, that day is coming to an end. Private investors and Banks also play a role Minnesota Corps and US Bank should be recognized for working together to create a rural Equity Fund businesses. Can't grow without it and Rural Minnesota will benefit from this two million investment by US Bank. No fewer than six agencies are involved in housing strategies, including the new one for Rural communities. This past year the mining and steel industry also got a boost with the minerals 21st century fund. This exists to make equity and Loan investments in mining and steel technology for the seventh aconite companies and hopefully new ideas. It is my expectation that the state partnership in efforts like this payoff in thousands upon thousands of high-paying jobs for a long long time in northern, Minnesota. Now to my third point and the last point, it's ultimately you the people who will make the difference long term for Rural, Minnesota. Believe me. It's been a steep climb and loose gravel since November. But what made this country great is the idea that any citizen can become governor. Or mayor or county commissioner or head of the regional fund? Or the researcher who discovers the next taconite idea or the teacher who works every day to help parents and their children. Or the farmer who finds a new way. Where we live is up to each of us. How we live is also up to each of us. The generation before us invested mightily in the nation's finest network of roads and schools and colleges and public buildings that serve us to this day. It is our generation that will build the superhighway of technology and make tough decisions about new realities that come from changing both where we live and how we live I urge you to think clearly without Politics on how to cope with those changes and bring common sense to the answers that we can afford and Deliver us that will afford and Deliver us the best results. I look very much forward to working with rural Minnesota over the next three and a half years. Now. I realize my prepared speech today didn't bring a lot of smiles, but then again is the crisis in rural Minnesota something that brings Smiles. No, it isn't. But I believe in you. And I hope you'll Believe in Us and together. We can move forward with not quick fix ideas not Band-Aids that give us money today. Give us money next year give us money the year after but that we can truthfully look. For keeping rural Minnesota vibrant for keeping it a place where we all know is probably the best place in the world to raise children to have them grow up and become adults and I ask for your help and you certainly will get mine. Thank you very much (00:34:55) Governor. Jesse Ventura speaking last week at the Minnesota. Rural Summit held in Duluth. Well joining us now to share their thoughts and what the governor had to say and the state's role in helping her old. Minnesota are two folks who've been working on these issues for a long time. Now state representative. Tim Finn Seth is with US Representative fence at the Republican from Angus is the chair of the Minnesota house agriculture policy committee. Also with us is former Renville County Board chair Marcie McLaughlin who is the director of the organization Minnesota rural partners, and we also invite you to join our conversation on a lot of time this afternoon, but if you've got some thoughts and what the I had to say give us a call here Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities 1-800 to for 22828 representative finsih the Marcie McLaughlin. Thanks for joining us this afternoon afternoon. Some folks were apparently upset with what the governor had to say at that Summit where you represent fin Seth. Well, I I'm not very impressed with the governor had to say about the rural part of our state. I think he falls way short in understanding the true concerns of the rural communities why so I don't think he understands just exactly how farming Works how agriculture works and how it affects each little small town. He keeps talking about Band-Aids and government programs that don't work but I don't think he really has a grasp of us to how involved government is an agriculture whether you like it or not. It's involved in at some points. He seems to want it involved it other points. He doesn't want it involve. So I think he's he has some conflicting messages and I don't think you really truly knows what goes on down on the farm Marcie McLaughlin. What was your impression of what the governor had to say? Well, Gary Minnesota rule Partners was involved in hosting the rural Summit so a day and a half prior to the governor's presentation those 600 people in that audience had pretty much been talking about exactly what the government would skinny what the governor had spoke about and that is Rural communities had to have a vision for their communities those leaders within those communities had to determine what assets they had what liabilities that community and individuals might have and then go about taking those Solutions. So I think what the governor had said and I would also venture to say that the vast majority of the people in the room were really with the governor in his remarks. Well has rural Minnesota become too dependent on these what the governor refers to as quickfix Band-Aids emergency aid year to year to year. Well, I think we have to be clear too that there's definitely is an egg crisis that's been brought about by many things including some people would say failed Federal egg price tag policy. We cannot always insert that AG policy is rural policy. So I would say that there is a place for government to be involved in rural issues. And those are some that the governor had pointed out whether its job creation education wiring the state for the electronics and telecommunication Highway and I think what the governor's did was really empower the local elected officials in the leaders in that room to say I'm ready to work with you help me figure out how we're going to do that. What about the idea though of sending out emergency aid to Farmers as was done this year. Well, he certainly did point out that he said 10 million and it ended up being 70 was it's 70. Yeah, right, you know that that is going to be difficult no matter where you're at on that decision represent a fence up. Do you think the governor is onto something here in terms of of in this case state government? Let's set aside the federal government. The federal government's role in terms of the state's role in rural. Minnesota has more specifically, I guess Farm relief. Should the state be be sending out emergency aid to Farmers. Well, Gary things are really bad out there right now on the state economy. Overall. It's been doing great. The 70 million that we sent out was part of the Surplus money that we had this last session. So it didn't have anything to do with affecting the ongoing state budget and when the governor talked about, you know, the the money's gone. We spent it all in all of that. Well, we were dealing with Surplus money. It had nothing to do competing with anyone else general public probably would have got an additional five dollars on their rebate check had the one that just went out now had we not done that 70 million, but the 70 million that we did. That was my plan. I dreamt it up in bed. So I obviously Have a little close ties to that program. You don't feel it. You don't feel the money was essentially wasted absolutely not we came in with a plan that had about the 70 million dollar Mark. The Senate came in with a about a 40 million dollar plan in the governor head about a 10 million dollar plan. Well the Senate kind of tailored their plan off of what we did in the house, but the governor had no plan. He said in his speech State of the State that I want to spend ten million dollars on agriculture. We tried over and over all during session to get him to tell us what's your plan? What do you want to do with it? He had nothing. It's really easy to say, you know, I want to spend ten million dollars, but you have to have a plan to do it and he had nothing and even yet today. I haven't heard any. Responses to you know, how he would do a do a program to get the money in the hands of the farmers and that's what we did. We had. We didn't want this money just to go out. We wanted it to get right into the hands of the people who are actually farming and you know, that's what this one did right. I'm going to get to we have some callers on the line here with the questions or comments and I want to get to them but a quick comment from each of you. Do you think the governor made a point here Beyond just the immediate farm crisis and I think Marcy this is what you were talking about this larger issue of developing development in rural Minnesota. Is it realistic to assume that? Lots of businesses will be relocating to rural Minnesota. Is that a realistic vision? Oh, I think it's very much a realistic Vision you we with this full employment that we have currently if companies are going to expand their going to as the governor had said go where the workers are. We have a very skilled Workforce in rural Minnesota and for lots of reasons it might make sense that capital investment by those companies be made outside the seven-county metro area and this pushes us to a broader discussion about what do we want rural to look like? What do we want the state of Minnesota look like do we want 60 70 % of the population within the State located within the seven County area or do we want people dispersed throughout the countryside? And if you if you have that as your focus then how do we get companies out there? So that workers can have a livable wage jobs. So I think it's very very doable when you think represented fence up. Well, I'm all for were rural. Minnesota is always looking for This is to expand here. We obviously have the people that can work. We have good skilled hard workers that can do it, but that does not solve the problem as to what do you do with all these Farmland Acres that we have out there and all the people that are trying to make a living off of those Acres, you know, the egg economy is close to 40% of the state economy when you include all the egg related businesses, it's huge. It's a huge part of our economy. We can't ignore it. We don't spend much money on agriculture in this state. Not near what we should this last year. We spent more than ever on agriculture. We did a lot of things for agriculture the 70 million bill the we had a tax bill that cut the property taxes by 52 million dollars. We did things like that, but we can't ignore the fact that Minnesota is number one in production of sugar beets corn peas. We're number two and wild rice turkeys. Number 3 and soybean spring wheat oats Hogs. We're number five in milk cows and milk production and barley, you know, this is an egg State. We can't ignore that fact and we have to be on the Forefront doing what we can to make sure agriculture stays vibrant in the state and make sure that you know, it's the base economy of this state of Agriculture stays healthy because without it you're going to see effects on the rest of the state. Let's get a couple callers on here while we have a few minutes. Our first caller is from Rochester and I'm guessing I'm going to mispronounce your name Odom. Oh, but come on. Okay. I used to wonder why there was so much criticism of Jesse Ventura in the state film and old political views to you know, personality and personal activities. Now, I understand why in a liberal state if you make too much sense, you have to be really fide. I'm From your guests, you know, what kind of permanent Solutions are they proposing or you know, they're going to have we're going to have a politicians both from Washington the person of Paul wellstone and local politicians sticking their grubby hands in my back pocket every year to continue throwing money away instead of solving the problem kind of permanent solution are people proposing if any make you okay representative and Seth I'm sure you wash your hands. So yeah, your hands aren't grubby but in terms of a permanent solution well deficit has to come from the federal level. There's the state cannot be an island standing alone. We have to have support from the federal government, but the federal government is involved with agriculture, whether these people like it or not. We have a cheap food policy. So when this gentleman goes into the store, he can be very grateful to the American Farmer for providing him. The lowest price food of anywhere in the world but in terms and that's something that they got to keep it, you know, we're letting that gentleman go into the store and get his food at a cheap price and we're putting that on the backs of the American Farmer right now and that's just not fair. If you want to have that cheap food. You better be supporting your farmer because they're not going to be there in the near future. If you don't do it. Is there a one long-range permanent State policy that should be adopted that would help the farm sector. Well, the state has a role in providing research for new crops expanding our crops. We have a role in research making sure that we have healthy crops and marketing our crops. We can play a role in that and we obviously play a role in the taxes. We should be providing tax system. That is fair and Equitable that allows Used to farm without having to pay their profit. So it in taxes Marcie McLaughlin long-term permanent solution. Would that be diversify the economy outside the Twin City metro area? Well, I agree with representative of the state's responsibility for three search marketing taxes distribution. I think the caller also needs to be aware that unlike maybe even 10 or 15 years ago. We certainly are in are being affected by international trade policies and I think representative you might agree that a lot of what's happening within the agricultural Community is being affected by those International decisions. So maybe we're even passed the federal decision point in more into the international Arena and the and the reason then the results and the ramification of those decisions are really felt on the local level. So we have reached what was begun in 1990 that devolve Of authority were there now where local County boards or school districts or you know townships often times have to make decisions based on what we're seeing coming down the pike from the international perspective. So then yes diversification of Minnesota's rural economy is desperately needed. We need to be wired for sound so that business in Morton has immediate high-speed access to the internet to be able to do some of that international trading. There's a company in Chisholm that's on a 24-hour clock that does business in India. It is not aggravated whatsoever. But that it's employing a dozen people at highly paid jobs. Those are the kind of examples that we need to see spread out throughout the state caller from Crookston Zone the line Tim. Go ahead, please. Yeah, just commenting on the governor's speech. I think he fails to realize the economic benefit for the whole state from agriculture. It's not just the farmers up here that are benefiting from any help and relief. I mean agriculture multiply throughout the stadium almost half of the jobs from agriculture in Minnesota are based in the Twin Cities, and he also talks about developing jobs and Industry in in the rural urban America Burrell Minnesota. Yes with technology and light industrial and assembly jobs you're going to do that. But agriculture is the largest industry in the state and it's already based here. It's just sick right now. Why don't we just do a little bit of fixing up on that one instead of scrapping it thrown out with the bath water and make it healthy again. That's where you're really going to get some job development. So I think he's really he's says he's looking long term but also he's to nearsighted on on what production agriculture in his mind is an aggregate in Minnesota. Yeah. Thanks for commenting bet. Let's see Harold joins us from Crystal quick comment Harold before we run out of time here. Yes one comment is this I do not agree with the representative assessment of the 70 million dollars given out heck I'd give $100 to those families Mom and Dad's raising their kids on a family farm what he did was he just gave 70 million dollars to everybody. It was just a shotgun approach and he gave my money to corporations that are also farming out there. They don't need our money we could have used the money here. And the thing is I would rather give ten fifteen hundred dollars of my refund or even more to see Mom and Dad's they're living in the rural environment. They're having trouble making ends meet that's where that money should have went. Okay, so representative fence s the should that well, I don't want to get into Long discussion here about the program because we don't have a lot of time frankly, but in retrospect you wish you would have been able to Target that that relief a little better. I don't think that we could have with the state would have spent more money trying to figure out who gets it and who shouldn't then then we spent on the program. So, you know and we had caps on it was limited. The big corporations didn't walk away with $100,000 checks out of this program. We've had I believe to date over $50,000 or 50,000 checks that have gone out and you know, they're they're Small Checks. They're going out to they are going out to the monpa farm operations quick comment from each of you. We've had a whole lot of meetings in the last few months these rallies discussions all summer about the situation row Minnesota has any of this made any difference? Do you sense that? They're the people are starting to coalesce around some some solutions? RC. Well, I sure hope that what it is done is raised the interest level and also raised some education about what's happening in Rural and also the discussion about what the rural urban connections are and how we might be able to see ourselves as one state and help one another out represent offense F agree with the awareness is getting there. Now. It's been lacking until the people in metropolitan areas of the state realize what's happening on the farm and how it truly affects them. Nothing's going to happen. We have to make sure that everyone is aware of how serious this crisis is because we're going to we're going to really suffer in the near future if something doesn't turn around. Thanks so much for joining us pleasure. Appreciate it state representative. Tim Finn Seth who is the chair of the Minnesota house agriculture policy committee. Also joining us Marcie McLaughlin, who is the director of Minnesota rural partners? It for our midday program today Gary eichten here. Thanks so much for joining us. Now tomorrow on midday. First hour. We're going to take a look at the governor's participation in that big wrestling event over the weekend. And then over the noon hour John McCain. She began her dance career at 14 in Harlem on the next All Things Considered will talk with Norma Miller the queen of Swing about this centuries Jazz Legends. I'm Lorna Benson. It's all things considered starting at 3 on Minnesota Public Radio. You're listening to Minnesota Public (00:53:36) Radio. (00:53:38) We have a cloudy Sky 69 degrees at Kenner wfm 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul the well, it should clear off a little bit this afternoon high in the mid-70s clear tonight with an overnight low in the upper 50s partly cloudy tomorrow then with a high temperature near 80 degrees.