ST. PAUL -- As Thom Peterson gets rolling as Governor Tim Walz' Commissioner of Agriculture, there are a number of hurdles facing Minnesota farmers.

Low commodity prices and tariffs are two of the challenges moving forward. But, Peterson is hoping that through his experience working with government that he can help. He has been the Director of Government Relations for the Minnesota Farmers Union since 2002. He has been an advocate for farmers both in St. Paul and in Washington D.C.

Peterson has traveled to every county in the state and knows what challenges each sector faces.  For example, he knows Stearns County has the most dairy farmers in the state and how low milk prices are causing farmers to struggle.

Peterson is planning to continue the personal interaction with farmers that he practiced while with the Minnesota Farmers Union. He has a history of traveling across the state to meet and talk with farmers about their needs and concerns.

He also wants to work with state and federal lawmakers to improve the conditions Minnesota farmers are facing.

Peterson replaces Dave Fredrickson who served under Governor Mark Dayton.