The Family Farm Breakfast Program was fully LSP-member run. LSP Board Chair and livestock farmer Beth Slocum (Welch, Minn.) emceed the program and highlighted numerous victories over LSP’s 41-year history. It featured poetry from Michael Chaney of Project Sweetie Pie (North Minneapolis, Minn.), testimonies on the importance of reinstating the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Community Board from former MPCA Citizens’ Board Member and LSP member Loni Kemp (Canton, Minn.) and LSP member Adam Muschler (St. Charles, Minn.), as well as testimonials on the importance of building a farm and food system where there are more people on the land sustainably growing food for their communities by LSP Land Access & Land Legacy Steering Committee Member and vegetable farmer Naima Dhore (Alexandria, Minn.) and pasture-based hog farmer Dayna Burtness (Spring Grove, Minn.).
After the Family Farm Breakfast, approximately 150 LSP members, supporters, and partners went to the Capitol Complex to advance our legislative agenda for people and the land. Together we met with approximately 90 state legislators (almost 50% of the Legislature). Our top priorities for the day were:
- Restoring community oversight of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) by reinstating the MPCA Citizens’ Board.
- Ensuring all Minnesotans have the affordable care they need when and where they need it by creating a MinnesotaCare Public Option and establishing a Prescription Drug Affordability Board(PDAB).
- Finalizing a robust agriculture budget that delivers for beginning and emerging farmers, small and mid-sized farmers, farmers facing financial stress, local meat and poultry processors, and our soil, water, pollinators, and climate.
As some folks were unable to get face time with one or both of their legislators, in-district meetings and online Zoom constituent meetings are being organized in some districts. You can take a look at our online resource packet here to learn more about what we were advocating for on the 13th.
(For the latest summary of where LSP’s priorities stand as we head into the final weeks of the session, click here.)
The last group meeting was a town hall with Jason Garms, who is a part of the Government Relations team at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Livestock farmer Terry VanDerPol (Montevideo, Minn.), along with Adam Muschler (Saint Charles, Minn.), Tim Ahrens (Altura, Minn.), and Lee Stoe (Apple Valley, Minn.) spoke to issues relating to excessive water use by factory farms, human-caused fish kills, and water quality.
We also held an informal conversation about emerging farmer issues with Julia Wickham of U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Office; Minnesota Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner Patrice Bailey; and Minnesota Department of Agriculture staff members Jenny Heck, Val Gamble, and Lillian Otieno. Emerging farmers participated in this discussion and talked about state and federal policy solutions related to improving land access and providing support. Speakers included farmworker Maddie Hyde (Red Wing, Minn.), vegetable farmer Naima Dhore (Alexandria, Minn.), and Elkanah Abobo and Lucia Possehl with Sharing Our Roots (Northfield, Minn.)
Finally, the day was wrapped up with a happy hour at Lake Monster Brewing with LSP members, partners, and staff from across the state. Cheers to a successful Family Farm Breakfast & Lobby Day! We look forward to 2024.
If you attended the Family Farm Breakfast and have feedback, please fill out our survey here.
LSP policy manager Amanda Koehler can be reached via e-mail.
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The FFB Coordinator
Thank you to Haze Harrison — LSP’s 2023 Family Farm Breakfast Coordinator!
Thank you to Chowgirls for making this meal possible! Without their generous donation of time, ingredients, and servingware, this meal would not have been able to come together at an affordable price.
The Food Suppliers
Thank you to our ingredient suppliers: Ames Farm (Delano, Minn.) ♦ Common Harvest Farm (Osceola, Wis.) ♦ Ferndale Market (Cannon Falls, Minn.) ♦ HiddenStream Farm (Elgin, Minn.) ♦ Lane RidgeFarm (Nicollet, Minn.) ♦ Niman Ranch♦ Pastures A’ Plenty (Kerkhoven, Minn.) ♦ Organic Valley (Viroqua, Wis.) ♦ Pine Tree Orchards (White Bear Lake, Minn.) ♦ Shepherd Moon Farm (Lindstrom, Minn.) ♦ TC Farm (Saint Paul, Minn.) ♦ Yker Acres (Carlton, Minn.).
Thank you to Velasquez Family Coffee (Saint Paul, Minn.) and Equal Exchange for providing coffee and tea, respectively. Thank you to Baker’s Field Flour & Bread for providing baked goods. Thank you to Seward Community Co-op, Mississippi Market Co-op, and Twin Cities Co-op Partners for providing gift cards to assist with the costs of the Family Farm Breakfast. We encourage LSP members and supporters to support these farms and businesses!
Thank you to those who supported the Family Farm Breakfast by purchasing an advertisement: 100% Campaign ♦ A Couple of Gurus ♦ Albert Lea Seed House ♦ Baker’s Field Flour & Bread ♦ Ben & Jerry’s Catering – South Minneapolis ♦ Clancey’s Meat Market, Co-op Credit Union ♦ CTUL ♦ Dangerous Man Brewing Co. ♦ Eastside Food Co-op ♦ Falk Seed Farm ♦ Ferndale Market ♦ Foresight Bank ♦ Honor the Earth ♦ Lakewinds Food Co-op ♦ Lorentz Meats & Deli ♦ May Day Café ♦ Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy ♦ the Minnesota Nurses Association ♦ Minnesota Farmers Union ♦ Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light ♦ Minuteman Press – Uptown ♦ National Farming Organization ♦ Niman Ranch ♦ Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota ♦ People’s Food Co-op ♦ Prairie Moon Nursery ♦ Seven Corners Printing ♦ St. Peter Food Co-op ♦ The Book House in Dinky Town ♦ The Good Acre ♦ Velasquez Family Coffee ♦ Voices for Racial Justice. We encourage LSP members and supporters to support these farms, organizations, and businesses!