FAIRMONT, Minn. -- Visit Fairmont's Modern Ag Tour of Martin County kicked off for the second year, giving participants the chance to witness the full scope and impact of agriculture in the area.
 
Lawmakers, local farmers, and business people caught up with old friends, as they networked and discussed their views on agriculture.

Visit Fairmont Executive Director Stephanie Busiahn said the group hopped on a bus, to view different sectors of agriculture in Martin County.
 
"Throughout the day, we'll touch on how agriculture impacts economic development, obviously from a tourism standpoint," said Busiahn. 

" How does agriculture impact tourism, specifically AG tourism, and then also the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, and how agriculture affects local businesses in our area."
 
The special tour gave insight to issues and concerns of farmers, while showing newer technology for the industry. Representatives from throughout the Southern Minnesota region participated in the tour. 

Rep. Jeremy Munson (R - Lake Crystal) said the meeting is more or less continuing education for legislators. 

" To make sure that we're up to date on the latest practices, and understand the concerns from the farmers in the area," said Munson. 

Rep. Clark Johnson ( DFL- North Mankato) said the agriculture industry is facing hard times, but he respects the determination and perseverance of the farmers. 
 
"In these trying times with tariffs and prices low and interest rates rising these producers are really facing a lot of challenge," said Clarkson.

" I'm hoping to learn how they're responding to those challenges, and what some of their needs are."
 
The Modern Ag Bus Tour made its first stop at the CHS Oil Seed Processing, and their second at the Kahler Automation building.

The group toured the insides of the buildings, received presentations and posed questions, about how the companies add to the agriculture in the area.
 
"It's a successful event, said Busiahn.

" We hope to continue it, and continue to celebrate Ag in Martin County."
 
The group was left with shared ideas for the future of agriculture, and more hope in finding ways to keep the community moving forward.

-- KEYC News 12