ProAg of Renville County

2015 Capital Trip

The March 18, 2015 ProAg Student Capital Trip was a unique learning experience. A total of 11 students from BOLD and 4 students plus Ms. Stephanie Supa the Ag Instructor from BLHS participated. It was a pleasure to host those students.

On the drive down to the capital presentations were given bout:

Township Government by David Scheibel Norfolk Township Chair

U.S. Political Party History. Political Parties Structure: BPOUs, CDs, State, National by Gregg Kulberg Chair of Renville County Republicans

City Government by Suzanne Hilgert who is Mayor of the city of Olivia and with the Renville County DFL

County Government by Randy Kramer who is a Renville County Commissioner

Thank you to these individuals for participating.


While at the MN Department of Agriculture students learned about the departments functions from Mr. Matthew Wohlman, who has been Assistant Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture since 2011. Wohlman’s responsibilities at MDA include oversight of the department’s regulatory activities. Mr. Wohlman owns and operates a fifth-generation family farming operation based in Renville County.

Other Presentations at MDA were:

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program – Ms. Marcie McLaughlin former Renville County Commissioner

Pesticides and pesticide regulation - Dr. Joe Zachmann

Ag in the Classroom – Mr. Al Withers

Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan – Mr. Larry Gunderson who once student taught at BOLD schools

We then walked to the transportation building for lunch and Representative Tim Miller met us there.

We met with Senator Lyle Koenen, Senator Gary Dahms and Rep Tim Miller for about 20 minutes in the Senate Chambers. Senator Lyle Koenen and Senator Gary Dahms addressed the students and answered questions from the group.  A group picture was taken from the balcony while the students were sitting in the senate seats.

Representative Tim Miller then took the group into the House Chambers where the house clerk told us about the history of the capital building and specific features of the house chambers. A group picture up on the speaker’s podium with Representative Miller.  

Representative Miller then explained the protocol of the House and how it differs from the Senate. Students then went through a mock bill with student Lacy Starr acting as Madame Speaker with help from Rep Miller and the house clerk. The students learned the process of introducing a bill, it going to committee, the three required readings and how discussion is held including amendments. It was interesting to learn that a motion to amend does not need a second per rules of the house. They used the electronic voting system and learned that it was the very first electronic voting system installed in any State or U.S. legislative chamber.

It is very unusual to get into either chamber during session, so the experience today was a special treat! The senate and house chambers will be under renovation next year and won’t even be available for use by either the senate of house. They likely will have seating to hold the house members in a conference room in the new legislative building that will be shared with the senate.

MN State Senators and MN State Representative Bios for Renville County

Township & State Government Presentation

Political Party Presentation

The six school districts serving Renville County were invited to participate in this event.

Group at the House Speakers Podium with Rep Tim Miller

Seated in the Senate Chambers with Sen Lyle Koenen

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