Peterson opened the forum by calling Walz his "Wingman" on ag issues in Congress. The Seventh district representative and chairman of the House Ag committee had thought that it could take a breather after passing the Farm Bill.
However, the collapse of financial markets prompted the committee to look into regulation of credit derivative swaps (the Ag Committee has jurisdiction over commodity trading).
Peterson also discussed his successful fforts to change language in the climate change bill to be more friendly to farmers, and his victory in getting farms exempt from FDA regulation.
Walz noted downturns in the pork and dairy industry, but said that it's impossible to be a pessimist in rural Minnesota. He shared a metaphor from yesterday's renewable energy meeting in Rochester with Secretary Chu: that we need to be like Wayne Greztky, who said he skated to where the puck was going to be.
I'll post more about the question and answer portion of the forum--including an incredible screed from one audience member who accused Representatives Peterson and Walz of being communists taking Americans "down the road to communism."* News to me. [Update Saturday: this will mostly be links to press coverage; most reporters focused on the lively exchange about the cap and trade bill].
Note: Last year, Farmfest arranged for live free wireless for press covering the forums. Not so thi year, so no liveblogging of the afternoon forum on cap and trade.
*One of the Farmfest staff members pointed out this inaccuracy, which we now correct.