Each year Minnesota Milk recognizes one legislator that demonstrates support to dairy farmers by their actions at the State Capitol.
2013 Legislator of the Year
State Representative Jeanne Poppe
State Representative Jeanne Poppe (DFL-District 27B: Austin, MN) has been selected as the 2013 Legislator of the year by Minnesota Milk Producers Association for demonstrating support to dairy farmers, the dairy industry and rural Minnesota by her actions at the State Capitol. The award was announced during the Midwest Dairy Expo on December 3 in St. Cloud, Minn.
Representative Poppe serves as Agriculture Policy Committee Chair and on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance Committee where she has fought to keep the funding level intact for the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) program.
Before Representative Poppe’s strong interaction, funds in the AGRI account were being earmarked for a variety of purposes – some of them not directed to agriculture. AGRI is the sole-source of funding for the Livestock Investment Grant Program, a critical tool in helping Minnesota dairy farms improve and modernize their operations.
“We appreciate the time and attention Representative Poppe has provided dairy farmers and her positive working relationship with us. We are fortunate to have her working closely with us on issues affecting the Milk Producers,” said Pat Lunemann, President of Minnesota Milk Producers Association.
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2011 Legislator of the Year
State Representative Paul Anderson
State Representative Paul Anderson (R-District 13A: Starbuck, MN) has been selected as the 2011 Legislator of the Year by Minnesota Milk Producers Association for demonstrating support to dairy farmers, the dairy industry and rural Minnesota by his actions at the State Capitol. The award was announced during the Midwest Dairy Expo on November 29 in St. Cloud, Minn.
Representative Anderson is the Chief Author of the bill to create Minnesota’s Dairy Research, Teaching and Consumer Education Authority. By doing this, he has helped create a stronger base of support for dairy development in Minnesota.
Representative Anderson has also taken a leadership role in efforts to address the timing and the function of the state feedlot permitting process. He, along with others have helped to provide the foundation for more clarity, consistency and timeliness for environmental compliance, permitting and review.
“We appreciate both what Representative Anderson does for dairy farmers and how he goes about his business. In an era when the rhetoric can get pretty heated, we are glad to have a steady hand like his working closely with us on issues affecting the Milk Producers,” said Pat Lunemann, President of Minnesota Milk Producers Association.
2010 Legislator of the Year
State Representative Mary Ellen Otremba
State Representative Mary Ellen Otremba (DFL-District 11B: Long Prairie, MN) has been selected as the 2010 Legislator of the Year by Minnesota Milk Producers Association for demonstrating support to dairy farmers, the dairy industry and rural Minnesota by her actions at the State Capitol. The award was announced during the Midwest Dairy Expo on November 30th in St. Cloud, Minn.
For the past 13 years, Representative Otremba has served as Chair of the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee and as a member of the Agriculture Finance Committee. In her capacity as Policy Committee Chair and as a member of the Finance Committee, she has authored or co-authored dozens of bills of interest and concern to the Minnesota Milk Producers Association.
She was Chief Author of legislation to provide milk producer payments to beginning dairy operators, co-authored the Livestock Investment Grant Program legislation and subsequent bills to direct funding to the program, and worked on University agricultural research initiatives, milk truck weight exemptions, bills to exempt milk sold in vending machines from sales tax, and legislation to provide for the sale of school milk in single service plastic containers.
More often than not, Representative Otremba also served as one of the five House Conferees on the Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Bill that would set the budget for the Department of Agriculture.
“Mary Ellen is a true friend to dairy farmers and we are very fortunate to have had such a good friend at the State Capitol,” stated Pat Lunemann, Minnesota Milk President and dairy farmer from Clarissa, Minn. “As Representative Otremba enters into her retirement from public service, we just wanted to extend our gratitude for all she has done and our best wishes for a productive, healthy, and happy retirement.”