AP NEWS

Brenny grateful for chance to tag along for SOTU

February 15, 2019

WASHINGTON — Katie Brenny, a cattle farmer and agriculture advocate from Mazeppa, was U.S. Rep. Angie Craig’s guest for the president’s State of the Union address on Feb. 5.

“It was a lot of fun to wear cowboy boots in the House chambers,” said Brenny the day after the address.

Brenny and her husband, Ted, work day jobs on top of operating their cattle farm.

Craig, a first-term Democratic congresswoman who serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, said she chose Brenny as her guest because she’s committed to finding ways to lower the cost of health care for farmers.

“My husband and I are still flashlight farming, with agriculture careers by day and farming by night,” said Brenny. “And so I had some good conversations with (Craig) about health care.”

She said she got to speak with Craig and other legislators before and after the address, and that she found Craig to be a very empathetic person.

“Regardless of your political beliefs, (Craig) stands for Minnesota agriculture and Minnesota farmers and ranchers,” said Brenny.

Brenny said all members of the House Committee on Agriculture have been good to work with, and she’s optimistic for what they’ll be able to get done for the state’s agricultural workers.

Seated above and to the right of President Trump, Brenny said she was less than 20 seats away from first lady Melania Trump. She said she had a good view of the majority of the senators and representatives on the floor. Her phone was taken before entering the address, as only elected officials were allowed to have their phones during the speech.

Although her legs did get tired from the numerous standing ovations, Brenny said she stood to clap whenever she saw the first lady do so. Her favorite part of the night was when the audience sang “Happy Birthday” to a survivor of the Holocaust and last year’s Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

“It was truly and honor,” said Brenny on her trip to the State of the Union. “Standing on the speaker’s balcony and having conversations with representatives from California to Colorado to Texas, as we were eating beef — it was a great experience and great to be part of history.”

Brenny and her husband will be back in D.C. in March with the Minnesota Farm Bureau.