Walz, Franken receive awards

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and U.S. Sen. Al Franken (both D — Minn.) were awarded the Golden Triangle Award by the National Farmers Union for support for agriculture policy and family farmers across southern Minnesota.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award from the National Farmers Union,” said Walz, member of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry. “We must continue to push House leadership to appoint a conference committee so an agreement can be reached on a bipartisan, long-term Farm Bill that gives our producers the certainty they need to continue to feed and fuel the world.”

Among the congressman’s many visits, Walz stopped at the Jovaag farm south of Austin in late May to discuss the Farm Bill and glean ideas to support sustainable farming.

For Franken, it’s the fourth consecutive year receiving the award. As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Energy Subcommittee, he focused his first hearing on energy efficiency and highlighted his legislation to reduce energy consumption and cut costs for farmers, businesses, and families in Minnesota.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s economy, and I’m honored to receive this award from the Minnesota Farmers Union,” he said. “But our work is far from done. Passing a five-year Farm Bill to give Minnesota’s farmers and rural communities the certainty they need to plan for the future has been one of my top priorities, and I will continue to fight to get that done.”

Franken also received the Fueling Growth Award from the trade association Members of Growth Energy for his advocacy of biofuels.

This year, Franken pressed to pass the Farm Bill and authored the energy section of the bill. He also fought to preserve the federal sugar program by working with his Senate colleagues to ensure that vital protections remain in place for sugar growers.

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 awards have been presented every year since 1988.

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