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Release No. 0301.05                                    Contact: USDA Press Office  (202) 720-4623

TRANSCRIPT OF THE MINNESOTA FARM BILL FORUM LISTENING SESSION WITH AGRICULTURE SECRETARY MIKE JOHANNS

MODERATED BY LYNN KETELSEN OF LINDER FARM NETWORK AND

TOM ROTHMAN OF MINNESOTA FARM NETWORK , MINNESOTA FARM FEST - REDWOOD COUNTY, MN - AUGUST 3, 2005

           MODERATOR:  The challenge for the USDA and for Congress is to put together the best of all the ideas and come up with a bill that is going to do the job serving agriculture.  We'll talk about the rules for this evening, but first we'd like to begin the evening with the color guard from Redwood Falls, the National Guard Unit. (Color Guard performs.) MODERATOR:  At this time we would like to have Kyle Lessman representing the 4-H and Julie Millmann representing the FFA with our Pledge of Allegiance. (Color Guard performs.) MODERATOR:  And now the Great Pretenders with the National Anthem. (The National Anthem is sung by the Great Pretenders.) (Color Guard performs.) MODERATOR:  Ladies and gentlemen, you are participating in a historical event this evening.  This is without a doubt the largest crowd that has ever gathered at a forum or any event at Farm Fest in its history. So why don't you give yourselves a round of applause for coming to this important event.  We do appreciate that. We have special guests on stage with us that we're going to introduce, and we begin with Representative Collin Peterson. And Collin, would you like to make a comment?  Here's a microphone.  We have plenty of microphones here. REP. COLLIN PETERSON:  I just want to personally thank the Secretary for coming out to the Seventh District of Minnesota.  We, as you know, are one of the biggest farm districts in the United States.  We like to think we have the best farmers in the world.  People in Nebraska might disagree with that, but we think we have the best farmers right here in this area-- in the world.  And so we just appreciate you being here.

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