Alden farmer to join Bennett for State of the State address

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, April 8, 2015

An Alden farmer will join District 27A Rep. Peggy Bennett as her guest during Gov. Mark Dayton’s fifth State of the State address Thursday evening.

Dan Erickson, who is also the regional representative for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association,  said he is concerned about the governor’s buffer strip proposal and hopes the governor will address the issue in his annual address to the joint convention of the Legislature.

Erickson’s family was named the Freeborn County Farm Family of the Year in 2011, and Erickson is also a board member and past president of the Freeborn County Corn and Soybean Growers.

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“Minnesota farmers use many different conservation practices, such as buffer strips, to protect soil and water resources while producing high quality food, feed, fiber and fuel,” Erickson said. “I appreciate Gov. Dayton and his staff reaching out this past week and speaking with farmers regarding our concerns with his buffer strip proposal. Farmers remain committed to working toward meaningful solutions to water quality issues and look forward to continued dialogue.”

Dayton visited Worthington and Austin last week to meet with farmers and area residents about his buffer proposal. Both meetings attracted about 200 people.

Bennett, R-Albert Lea, said she is grateful for the work of Erickson and all farmers throughout the state in their work to help put food on tables, fuel in cars and to create opportunities for thousands of workers in the agriculture industry.

Erickson produces soybeans, corn and alfalfa and raises dairy heifers on his farm, where he lives with his wife Jenny, who is a teacher at Alden-Conger School, and their three children.

Dayton will deliver his address at 7 p.m. in the House chamber at the Capitol.