Minnesota Milk Producers Association named Minnesota State Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake as its 2017 Legislator of the Year during the organization’s annual Dairy Conference and Expo Nov. 28, 2017 at Treasure Island Resort and Casino.
Senator Westrom has always been an advocate for agriculture, and he possesses the work ethic of someone born on a farm. Last year, he heard Minnesota Milk’s plea for processing capacity support. In response, he helped pass three bills signed by Governor Mark Dayton that provided incentives for value-added agriculture processing through new grant funding, infrastructure for plant expansion in the city of Litchfield and streamlining laws for small milk trucks.
During his time as a State House Representative, he served as Agriculture Policy and Transportation Policy Committee vice chair, Energy Committee chair, and Civil Law Committee chair. In the Senate, where he has represented District 12 since 2012, Westrom serves as chair of the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance Committee.
In his first years in the legislature, elected at age 23, he ran a forage baling and rental property business while attending law school at night. He has accomplished all this while being legally blind since age 14 due to a farm truck rollover accident. Westrom grew up on a dairy farm near Willmar.
Westrom is married, has three children and graduated from Bemidji State University. He received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He served on the federal Ticket to Work task force under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2006. Westrom was also inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012.
ABOUT THE MINNESOTA MILK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION
Minnesota Milk Producers Association is a membership organization representing grassroots dairy farmers through policy work, education and membership development. Our work is vital to the future of Minnesota’s dairy industry and is directed by a board of dairy farmers elected by their peers. For more information, visit www.mnmilk.org.