ST. CLOUD -- Farmers from across Minnesota are in St. Cloud this week for the 2016 Dairy Expo.

Pat Lunemann - President Minnesota Milk Producers Association - Photo by WJON News

The Minnesota Milk Producers Association is bringing in speakers on a range of topics including small farm survival, the market outlook for 2017, and the controversial Margin Protection Program.

Outgoing MMPA President Pat Lunemann says the top priority for farmers is profitability...

A lot of the expenses we have are so high, and the number one thing we're hearing from dairy farmers is the high cost of health insurance.  Most of the people in Minnesota know it's an issue, but it really impacts small businesses and farmers.  The price increases that farmers have seen on the health insurance policies going into next year are beyond sustainable.

Lunemann also says low milk prices continue to plague Minnesota farmers

and everyone's wondering what effect President-elect Donald Trump will have on trade policy...

We're all wondering what the new administration will be doing, especially regarding trade.  Both key candidates that were running for President were against some of the trade deals that we have.  We need to have trade agreements that work for us in the United States and work for agriculture.  We need to not just close our doors and think (that) that's a better way.

There is a glut of dairy products on the world market and Lunemann says fair trade policies are integral in getting those prices up to a profitable level.

The 2016 Minnesota Dairy Expo ruins through Thursday at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.