GILFILLAN ESTATE (KMHL) – There was a packed house yesterday on day 2 of Farmfest for an ag forum that featured Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, House Ag Committee Chairperson Rep. Collin Peterson and members of the house ag committee. Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap says farmers are watching closely what’s going on in Washington.

“Poor weather, low prices and uncertainty in trade, together that’s causing a lot of concern in agriculture,” said Paap. “It’s causing a lot of concern on folks’ balance sheets. That’s why this is so important.”

There were a few heated moments during the listening session as well – especially when it came to a dairy assistance program that was included in last year’s farm bill.

Peterson said he doesn’t understand why dairy farmers are not getting signed up for the program.

“This is not about how much money your going to get from the government,” said Peterson. “That’s not what this is about.”

He added that he hopes the government doesn’t pay anything – because that means the market is working.

“Your going to be able to guarantee a gross income for your operation $850,000 to $900,000 guaranteed for five years, you can take that to the bank and finance it, because it’s guaranteed,” Peterson said.

He notes that only 61 percent of dairy farmers have signed up for it.

Farmfest wraps up today.