Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 2 of Minnesota Farmers Union state convention is underway

Don Knutson, CEO of the Greenview program, talked about the private/public partnership that employs seniors to work with rest stops across Minnesota. Greenview has staffed every rest stop in the state since 1969.

The novel idea by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has been implemented on a federal level, called "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" - further information on this will be added as I study more about it. One item to note is that First Lady Michelle Obama has created a community garden at the White House grounds - a great idea to teach the public about where our food comes from and basic garden practices.

National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson, former North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, swiped a good 20 minutes of the delegates' time on Sunday morning with a keynote speech.

President Johnson began by stating that democracy is a messy thing, mainly due to the fact that everyone has a voice.

Johnson went on to highlight two major ticket items, Health Care reform and a Climate/Energy bill. With respect to the first issue, he labeled it as a "big, c ontroversial idea" - and the second, he said that the eyes of the world are on the U.S. They are basically asking, "What are you going to do on this issue?"

Other issues touched on were financial market reform and food safety.

Johnson noted that the U.S. spends twice as much per capita on health care vs. the rest of the world, but our health care outcomes are no better. Essentially, he added, the U.S. has an "emergency room health care" policy.

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