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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Barb Haley (R)

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Rep. Haley Legislative Update

Friday, July 26, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


The 2019 Farm Families of the year were recently unveiled by the University of Minnesota, and I’d also like to recognize our local recipients who have helped make our state’s agricultural economy strong and share their information with you.



Gary and Nancy Hovel farm with their three children and currently raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay. Their Cannon Falls farm is home to a 120-head Gelbvieh Balancer cow-calf herd, and they also custom finish hogs in several finishing barns and provide custom field work for area farmers.


Gary has served as a supervisor on the Cannon Falls Township Board. Nancy volunteers with the Goodhue County 4-H program and two years ago received the 2017 Goodhue County Friend of 4-H Award. She’s also served on the county FSA committee. Nancy and Gary are very involved with the Cannon Valley Fair in Cannon Falls.


Hovel Farms are involved with the Goodhue County and Minnesota Pork Producers Associations and are members of the Goodhue County and Minnesota Corn and Soybean Growers Associations. The family received the Outstanding Conservation Farmers award from the Goodhue County Soil and Water Conservation District and has received the Cannon Falls Honorary Chapter FFA Degree.



Kenny’s parents purchased the Lake City farm when Kenny was two years old. It was sold in 1975 and had two other owners before Kenny and Vicky returned. They started renting the farm in the early 1980s and moved into the home in 1985. Two years later they were able to purchase the farm.


The Dohrns milked cows for about 20 years and sold their herd in 2002. At that time they milked close to 200 cows. They currently raise 85 beef cows and 100 steers. They cash crop corn and soybeans and raise hay for their cattle. Kenny and Vicky’s two sons and two daughters also help with the crops and cattle.


Kenny served on the Wabasha County Cattlemen board for 15 years where he served several terms as president. The Dohrns were also on the Wabasha County Purple Ribbon Committee for several years. Vicky was a member of the 4-H executive committee. The Dohrns are 4-H volunteers and lease cattle to local 4-H members for shows.


Congratulations to the Hovel’s and Dohrn’s on their accomplishments! To view the University of Minnesota’s entire list of farm families of the year by county, click here.



On August 1, if you’re driving a car, you’re going to need to get your cell phone out of your hands.


The new law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. Simply put, drivers will no longer be able to physically hold a cellphone while operating a vehicle.


GPS and other systems that can only be used for navigation are exempt from the Hands-Free law as well as in-car screens.


If you haven’t already made arrangements for this new law, I urge you to do so in the next few days.



Workforce development scholarships are part of an initiative I championed back in 2017, and I’m pleased to report they are really paying off for local students.


Last week the Red Wing Republican Eagle wrote a story on the topic, which you can read by clicking here.


The scholarships encourage students to pursue careers in good-paying fields where workers are desperately needed. They are available not just for recent high school grads but also for adults returning to school, and they are offered at all Minnesota state school campuses.


An additional 18 scholarships of $2,500 will be offered next year at Minnesota State College Southeast. To download an application form, click here. The deadline to apply is August 5.



On Wednesday, Maj. Blane Pierson, the Minnesota Wing Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Chief of Staff, presented me with a membership certificate in the Minnesota CAP Legislative Squadron.  I was honored to receive the recognition.

During the visit, I was able to learn more about the Civil Air Patrol’s training and education programs.  Red Wing Airport hosts a CAP program for youths age 12-21.



Also this week, it was a pleasure to meet Joan Gabel, the new President of the University of MN. 

I told her that “our students’ success is our state’s success” and shared my efforts to support higher education and workforce initiatives. 



Don’t miss Wabasha’s Riverboat Days this weekend! To check out the scheduled events, see the Riverboat Days website.



As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding any issue, please contact me. You can reach me at or 651-296-8635.