Studemann talks support for rural communities

Anthony Studemann, at right, listens to area residents during an event at Toni’s Depot on Saturday. Studemann is running as the DFL candidate in Minnesota House District 15A, which includes Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine and Lyon counties.

MARSHALL — Anthony Studemann said there were a lot of issues that were important to him as a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives — and many of those issues came down to supporting rural communities.

At an event in Marshall, Studemann talked about the need to support beginning farmers, as well as public safety and infrastructure.

Studemann was one of two DFL candidates who visited with area residents in Madison, before coming to Toni’s Depot on Saturday afternoon.

“The conversations we had were really good,” Studemann said.

Studemann, a Marshall resident, is running in House District 15A. His opponent Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, received the Republican endorsement inthe district in March.

Studemann said the rural economy was one concern he’s heard from area residents. One person at the Madison visit had talked about concerns that the city was shrinking, Studemann said. A lack of infrastructure was also a concern that Studemann said he was hearing from the public.

“Building up rural infrastructure would bring in businesses,” he said. “If we have their needs already met, the infrastructure’s there and all they have to do is connect to it. It just speeds the whole process up. It allows people to see something built in their community, too.”

In addition to encouraging business, Studemann said he would like to see support for small and medium-sized family farms.

“New and beginning farmers, we need to support them,” he said.

New farmers face plenty of obstacles getting started in agriculture. Studemann said tax incentives might be one way to help — for example, a tax break for an established farmer when they sell to a new farmer.

“Or maybe when the new farmer gets the land, give them a break for a while,” he said.

Having access to low-interest loans for equipment could also be a way to help beginning farmers, he said.

Studemann said creating new revenue streams for farmers would be another way to help support Minnesota agriculture. One example he used was the Farm to School initiative. In Farm to School programs, farmers gain a market by selling produce to schools.

“I’ve heard that it has had great success in the Hutchinson School District, and I think that it’s a great idea,” Studemann said.

Public safety was another area where Minnesota could help strengthen communities, Studemann said.

“I really support public safety,” he said. However, public safety didn’t only mean law enforcement. “Public safety includes police officers, emergency medical services, firefighters, gun safety training, ATV training — public safety is a huge thing.”

One way to help support public safety would be to help make sure emergency responders have the funding they need, Studemann said. State aid dollars made a difference for local public safety, he said.

“I don’t think firefighters should have to hold fundraisers to buy life-saving equipment,” Studemann said.

“I would rather that police officers have community dinners that aren’t fundraisers, because they already have funding provided … That state government aid is very important,” he said.

Studemann said he’s “been traveling around a lot,” to reach out to voters.

However, he said the campaign season is just starting to gear up — the filing period for Minnesota state candidates opens today.

“I feel like that’s a real marker for the start of things because my name will officially be on the ballot at that point.”

“Generally, I feel people are willing to listen, for the most part,” Studemann said of campaigning.

As a legislator, he hoped to be able to find middle ground and work together with people.


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