Virtual FarmFest Congressional Candidate Forum addresses current issues in rural America

Virtual FarmFest Congressional Candidate Forum addresses current issues in rural America

(KEYC) — FarmFest’s U.S. Congressional Candidate Forum on Wednesday featured both candidates running for the First Congressional District of Minnesota, Dan Feehan and Jim Hagedorn, with questions focusing on the hardships rural America is facing.

Both candidates hoping to represent the first district of Minnesota shared their thoughts on the struggles in rural America, including access to high-speed internet and healthcare.

“This is an infrastructure issue and a quality of life issue. The folks in the rural areas should have every chance of living their best life possible like the people in the urban areas and of course it means so much for our farmers and the ‘telehealth’,” said Hagedorn. “That’s one thing I think we did in this coronavirus... it’s allowed to have ‘telemedicine’ more and Medicare pay reimbursements, we should continue that.”

“Sounds like there’s a lot of agreement here, but I wonder, you know, where that agreement is going to go from here because tying the issue to healthcare is the absolute way to go because it’s not just ‘telehealth’,” said Feehan.“It’s the idea that you have reliable internet, affiliated access, a doctor if you need to virtually, but also affordable healthcare.”

Concerns were shared regarding potential environmental regulations.

“I don’t know one farmer that wants to spend more for their fuel, electricity, their fertilizer... environmentalist regulations, very extreme driving up the cost of energy,” said Hagedorn. “I like all of the above energy because oil and gas is needed to fuel the economy and when we keep downward pressure on the cost of energy, it helps our farmers.”

“I’m someone who believes that biofeuls absolutely has to be a part of how we fight climate change and I’m someone who opposes the Green New Deal, straight forwardly, something that I would be happy to stand up to my party in doing so,” said Feehan, “because again, it’s the people of southern Minnesota I’m here to represent and our economy and our region of agriculture, that has to get put first.”

Conversations shifted toward trade and how to best support producers in southern Minnesota.

Click the videos below to watch the full forum.

Copyright 2020 KEYC. All rights reserved.