Kevin Paap, President
Minnesota Farm Bureau

Doug Peterson, President
Minnesota Farmers Union

Robert Riley, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
University of St. Thomas

Matt Kramer, Ed.D, Vice President for University and Government Relations
University of Minnesota

Kevin Smith, President & CEO
Minnesota Orchestra

Natalie Volin Lehr, Director of Corporate Affairs
Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group

Aasha Wanless, Director of Trade Compliance
Polaris Industries, Inc.

John Wiehoff, CEO
C.H. Robinson Worldwide

Bob Zelenka, Executive Director
Minnesota Grain and Feed Association

Marvin Zutz, Executive Director
Minnesota Barley Council

Jason Adkins, Executive Director & General Counsel
Minnesota Catholic Conference

Patrick Mulvihill, Asst. Provost for Global Education & experience
Augsburg College

Tom Carman, VP Human Resources & Administration
Wenger Corporation

Dave Frederickson, Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Jeff Grev, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Hormel Foods Corporation

John Guttery, Senior Vice President
Ecolab Inc.

Rodolfo Gutierrez, Executive Director
Hispanic Advocacy and Community

Lyndel King, President
Weisman Art Museum

Mike Noonan, Vice President
Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc.

John Oswald, PhD Global Health Committee Co-Chair
Minnesota Public Health Association



Minnesota's State Champions

The Hill: American Farmers Need the Cuban Market


American farmers are tough patriots, but they need strong export revenues to stay in business. Building new export outlets for American farmers and allied industries has become an imperative, and Cuba should be part of that mix.

MinnPost: Cuban diplomat Miguel Fraga: ‘The door is open on our side’

Miguel Fraga, the first secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., came to Minnesota over the weekend to give a series of talks on developing relations between the countries.

KEYC: Cuban Ambassador Visits Southern Minnesota Farm

With six out of every ten rows of beans in Minnesota leaving the state, farmers are always looking for potential buyers.

Because Cuba and the United States are so close and don't trade as much as they could, it only made sense to Paap to begin building a relationship.

Brownfield: Group travels to DC touting trade with Cuba

A broad coalition of industry leaders will be in Washington, DC this week encouraging lawmakers to lift the trade embargo with Cuba. 

The Desert Sun: Officially end the embargo, let the sun shine on Cuba

Speaking at a Monday event in Minneapolis organized by Global Minnesota and the Engage Cuba coalition, Emmer took the long view on policy that's passed it's usefulness. 

Brainerd Dispatch: After Push from Minnesota Congressional Delegation, DOT Approves Flights from Minnesota to Cuba

On Friday, after an effort from Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with Reps. Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, Rick Nolan, Erik Paulsen, and Tom Emmer, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved new direct flights between Minnesota and Cuba.

MinnPost: Have the Political Winds Finally Shifted on Lifting the Cuban Embargo?

A lot has changed in the last 55 years in U.S. politics — which party controls Congress and the presidency, the size and reach of the federal bureaucracy, America’s rivals abroad. 

Minnesota Farm Guide: Minnesota Soybean Growers Hope to Provide Soybeans to Cuba

Minnesota’s soybean leadership recently participated in talks at the White House regarding trade opportunities with Cuba. The talks occurred just ahead of a signing ceremony re-establishing the Cuban marketplace for U.S. food and ag products.

Minnesota Farm Guide: Ending Cuba Embargo Could Benefit Region

After decades of a trade embargo against Cuba, there is little evidence that it had any impact on a change in policy or politics on the island nation. 

Twin Cities Pioneer Press: With historic visit, Cuba takes center stage in Minnesota politics

An island more than 1,600 miles from St. Paul dominated politics in Minnesota on Monday. President Barack Obama and three of Minnesota's members of Congress were in Cuba, the first such visit by a sitting U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s. 

Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota lawmakers getting warm welcome in Cuba

A historic trade trip to Cuba is going well, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., say. They're optimistic that Congressional efforts to ease restrictions on exports will go well, too.

CBS Minnesota: Sun Country may offer nonstop flights from Minneapolis to Cuba 

Flying nonstop from Minneapolis to Cuba? It's now possible. That's if the federal government approves a request from Sun Country Airlines. 

CBS Minnesota: Klobuchar, Emmer headed to Cuba alongside Obama

The Minnesota members of Congress will be going to Cuba with President Barack Obama next week. 

WCCO CBS Minnesota: State leaders launch Minnesota Engage Cuba State Council

Upon Emmer and Klobuchar’s return, Engage Cuba launched a state council in Minnesota Monday. In addition to announcing Minnesota’s Engage Cuba State Council, there was also an extended discussion that examined how lifting the trade embargo would benefit Minnesota businesses and agriculture.

CBS Minnesota: State Leaders: Trade between U.S., Cuba would boost Minnesota

Monday morning, both Senator Klobuchar and Congressman Emmer spoke to a newly formed coalition in Minneapolis called the Engage Cuba State Council. The group is made of business, academic and community leaders who want to establish a business relationship with Cuba.

Minnesota Farmers Union: Minnesota Farmers Union president nominated to Engage Cuba Minnesota State Council

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President, Doug Peterson has been nominated by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Tom Emmer to be a member of the Engage Cuba Minnesota State Council. 

Star Tribune: End the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba

Speaking at a Monday event in Minneapolis organized by Global Minnesota and the Engage Cuba Coalition, Emmer took the long view on policy that's passed its usefulness.Cuba." 

Northlands New Center: St. Scholastica students to visit Cuba as relations with U.S. improve

With the improving relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, a group of Duluth students is heading to the island nation to see for themselves the economic opportunities there. 

Daily Globe: Minnesota ag commissioner hopeful for more trade with Cuba

When Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson visited Cuba he had to put his past beliefs about the country behind him. 

Minnesota Daily: Carlson students return from Cuban business trip

A group of 30 University of Minnesota students spent their spring breaks in Cuba riding around in cars from the '50s, interacting with locals and soaking in a country previously cut off form the United States. 

WJTV 12: Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator, urges rule changes so U.S. hotels can operate in Cuba

A U.S. senator is urging the Obama administration to ease restrictions on investment in Cuba so American hotels can operate in the island nation.

Mankato Free Press: Our View: Pragmatism and profit in Cuba

Obama has loosened the embargo with executive actions, but officially lifting it will require congressional action. 

Minnpost: Let's beef up trade with Cuba, ag commissioner says

Old habits die hard, but they do die. When Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson visited Cuba, he admitted, "your dukes are up a bit."

Twin Cities Business Journal: MN Businesses, Leaders Join Forces To Support Open US-Cuba Relations

James Williams, President of Engage Cuba said in the release: "Minnesota’s agriculture, biomedical, and energy sectors are thriving. Opening up trade to Cuba and expanding investment opportunities for Minnesota businesses is critical to helping local businesses and the Cuban people."

KSTP ABC 5: Minnesota Businesses Looking to Increase Opportunities in Cuba

Our business community is starting what they call an "Engage Cuba Coalition." The organization is a way to strengthen ties to the country even though the travel and trade embargo remains in place.


Representative Betty Mccollum (D-MN-4)   Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Betty Mccollum (D-MN-4)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN-5)   Cosponsor of  H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN-5)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Richard Nolan (D-MN-8)    Cosponsors H.R. 351 Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act

Representative Richard Nolan (D-MN-8)

Cosponsors H.R. 351 Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act

Representative Jason Lewis (R-MN-2)   Cosponsors  H.R. 442 Cuba Trade Act

Representative Jason Lewis (R-MN-2)

Cosponsors H.R. 442 Cuba Trade Act