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Biden for President Minnesota Launches Rural Council to Lead Voter Mobilization Efforts in Greater M

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Yesterday, Biden for President Minnesota announced a coalition of 37 leaders from communities across greater Minnesota who have endorsed Joe Biden’s economic plan to revitalize rural America and are committed to mobilizing rural voters. Members of the council include farmers, teachers, frontline health care workers, tribal leaders, and agriculture experts, including former Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson; Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Melanie Benjamin; President of the Western Area Labor Council (AFL-CIO) Mark Froemke; Fillmore County Dairy Farmer Eunie Biel; and Ortonville Early Childhood Education Teacher, Kari Dorry.

“This administration’s trade wars and kickbacks for Big Oil have hurt Minnesota farmers," said Doug Peterson, a former member of the Minnesota House and former President of the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU). "Joe Biden has put together an agenda to support working families in rural America. A Biden administration will take action to bring broadband to rural communities, support the renewable fuel standard, and boost manufacturing jobs.”

“As President, Joe Biden will be a champion and advocate for American Indian people, as well as all Americans,” said Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. “Joe Biden leads with the character of his convictions and values, which mirror those values we hold as Anishinabe people”

“Having grown up in Scranton, Joe Biden understands that union workers built the American middle class,” said Mark Froemke, President of the West Minnesota Area Labor Council (AFL-CIO). “Now more than ever, we need a President who will fight for workers’ collective bargaining rights, secure paid family leave, protect our healthcare, and give a voice to our workers. Joe Biden will be that voice.”

“Rural Minnesotans need a president who will end the disastrous trade wars and support family farms" said Eunie Biel, a dairy farmer from Fillmore County. "Joe Biden will end special treatment for big oil companies at home while standing up to China on trade abroad. A Biden administration will put Minnesota’s family farms first."

“Minnesota’s rural communities have been some of the hardest hit by this administration’s failures to get the pandemic under control,” said Kari Dorry, an Ortonville Early Childhood Education Teacher. “Greater Minnesota continues to experience some of the largest spikes in COVID cases in our state. As a result, our schools have been forced to choose between public health and our students’ safety, creating difficult conditions in our schools. Joe Biden has a plan to bring the pandemic under control with science and to help rural schools reopen safely across rural America.”

See below for a list of notable members of the Biden for President Minnesota Rural Council:

  • • Alan Roy, White Earth Tribal Council Member

  • • Andrew Falk, Family Farmer and Former MN State Representative

  • • Anne Schwagerl, Family Farmer

  • • Becky Lourey, Small Business Owner at Nemadji Resource Corporation

  • • Bryan Klabunde, Minnesota Farmers Union Vice President

  • • Colleen Landkamer, Former Minnesota Rural Development State Director

  • • Cyndy Martin, Grand Rapids Community Advocate

  • • Dave Fredrickson, Former MN Department of Agriculture Commissioner

  • • Doug Peterson, Former Minnesota Farmers Union President

  • • Eunie Biel, Fillmore County Dairy Farmer

  • • Gary Wertish, Minnesota Farmers Union President

  • • Gary Wahl, Small Business Owner at Stone’s Throw Café

  • • Grant Herfindahl, Family Farmer and former Minnesota Farm Service Agency State Director

  • • Hannah Burnhardt, Small Business Owner at Medicine Creek Farm

  • • Jeanne Poppe, MN State Representative

  • • Jim Nichols, Former MN Department of Agriculture Commissioner

  • • Kari Dorrey, Ortonville Early Childhood Education Teacher

  • • Laurie Driessen, Family Farmer and Health and Human Services Professional

  • • Linda Larson, DFL Rural Caucus Chair

  • • Lori Sellner, MN 1st Congressional District DFL Chair or Former Chair

  • • Mark Froemke, President of West Minnesota Area Labor Council (AFL-CIO)

  • • Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

  • • Nick Frentz, MN State Senator

  • • Paul Sobocinski, Family Rancher

  • • Rick Nolan, Former Congressman (MN-08)

  • • Rick Olseen, Former MN State Senator

  • • Roger Moe, Former MN State Senate Majority Leader

  • • Sarah Klabunde, Nurse

  • • Steve Anderson, Dairy Farmer

  • • Steve Linder, Family Farmer

  • • Rob Ecklund, MN State Representative

  • • Sue Hakes, Former Mayor of Grand Marias

  • • Ted Suss, Former State Representative

  • • Teresa Kittridge, Consultant

  • • Theresa Keaveny, DFL Rural Caucus Board

  • • Theresa Bentz, Farmer and Occupational Therapist

  • • Tim Velde, Family Farmer

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