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Legislators recognized for agriculture advocacy

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, along with U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, have been awarded the Golden Triangle Award by the National Farmers Union (NFU) for their strong support for agriculture policy and family farmers across southern Minnesota. The awards were presented at a reception during NFU’s Fall Legislative Fly-In Tuesday evening.

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Franken received the award for the fourth consecutive year. This year, he has pressed hard to pass the bipartisan Senate Farm Bill, and authored the energy section of the bill, which he says will produce jobs and growth in Minnesota’s agriculture energy sector. He also successfully fought to preserve the federal sugar program by working with his Senate colleagues to ensure that protections remain in place for sugar growers. Franken serves as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Energy Subcommittee.

Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Agriculture Commitee, worked to craft the Senate version of the Farm Bill and has been named to the conference committee responsible for negotiating the final version of the legislation. The Senate version of the Farm Bill, which passed earlier this year, includes reduction of the deficit by $24 billion, strengthening of the crop insurance program, elimination of direct payments, support of dairy producers, and streamlining of conservation programs, according to a press release issued by Klobuchar’s office.

Walz is a ranking member of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry.

“Representative Walz was chosen for this award due to his strong advocacy for family farmers and ranchers in southern Minnesota,” said Doug Peterson, President of the Minnesota Farmers Union, in a press release issued by Walz. “He is a true ally of farmers and our NFU members in Minnesota and across the country.”

This year’s Golden Triangle recipients were selected for their leadership on a variety of issues, including the 2013 Farm Bill, dairy policy, competition, support for the continuation of energy programs and provisions for a safety net for farmers in times of long term market collapse or natural disaster.

The Golden Triangle Award is based on NFU’s symbol — a triangle with “legislation” and “cooperation” forming the sides and “education” the base. The Golden Triangle Awards have been presented every year since 1988.