Throughout his farming career, Darin Johnson has hosted many trade delegations from across the world at his family farm in Wells. But Johnson, secretary of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA), has never hosted a high-profile presidential candidate from New York before.
“This is certainly a first for me,” Johnson says. “Being a part of MSGA really has opened so many opportunities for myself and my family.”
But Wednesday afternoon will also be a new experience and opportunity for Mike Bloomberg when the Democrat meets the Johnson family at their farm in southern Minnesota. The business mogul and former New York City mayor will be visiting a Minnesota farm for the first time.
“We are very excited to host the Bloomberg campaign for their first visit to Minnesota,” Johnson says. “Our organization is non-partisan and doesn’t endorse candidates, but we certainly encourage and welcome all candidates from both parties to visit a farm and see what life is like in rural America.”
Bloomberg is expected to arrive at the Johnson family farm in Faribault County Wednesday afternoon for a tour of Johnson’s operation, followed by a roundtable discussion with Darin, his wife, Rachel; father, Charlie; uncle, Scott and MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek. Mayor Bloomberg and the Johnson family, who also run a flourishing seed business, will discuss the agriculture economy, renewable fuels, health care options, the importance of improving rural broadband access and other farm policy priorities heading into the 2020 primary season.
“This is a great opportunity for Darin and our farmers,” Smentek says. “Minnesota agriculture contributes about 25 percent to the state’s GDP, and we’re pleased to see that Mayor Bloomberg realizes farming drives local economies throughout the country.”