As they prepare for the upcoming legislative session, Minnesota agriculture officials are hoping to hear from the state's farmers.
Deputy Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Jim Boerboom is holding a listening session with farmers and workers in Redwood Falls Wednesday. Department of Agriculture Spokesman Mike Schommer said farming and agricultural industries make up a huge part of the Minnesota economy.
"There is a fair amount of concern in the ag and food sector about the impression that people who are not a part of that sector have," he said. "Ag and food is a huge part of our economy that...employs close to one out of every five Minnesotans."
Schommer said the commissioner plans to share farmers' concerns with lawmakers.
"This is an opportunity for farmers to talk with somebody who is making decisions in St. Paul and they don't always have that opportunity--especially in Greater Minnesota," he said.
The Minnesota Agriculture department has held about a dozen listening sessions with farmers around the state since 2008.