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Bloomberg visits Wells farm

By Staff | Jan 12, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, discusses various ag issues with Wells area farmer Darin Johnson.

Democratic presidential candidate, and former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg came to Faribault County last Wednesday afternoon and visited the Johnson Family Farms headquarters south of Wells.

Bloomberg’s visit came as a surprise to many people, including the Johnson family themselves.

Darin Johnson, who serves on the Minnesota Soybean Council, says he received a call from the council’s public relations director, Doug Monson.

“He said that Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign people had called him and said the mayor wanted to visit a farm in Minnesota,” Johnson said. “So Doug was calling to ask me if we wanted to host him for a visit. I said, ‘sure, I guess so.’ And that was it.”

So, on a day when the temperature was barely in the teens, and the wind was blowing rather strongly, Bloomberg’s caravan showed up at the farm, about a half hour late.

The mayor met with the family privately, then went on a cold tour around some of the farm site before going into the Johnson’s large machine shed.

Inside there, the mayor visited with Johnson, and his father and uncle, Charlie Johnson and Scott Johnson, in front of a barrage of media from the area, state and nation.Bloomberg admitted he did not know a lot about farming or agriculture, and was there to listen, and not talk. He asked several questions which Darin Johnson answered, but Bloomberg did not give any campaign speech, nor did he answer any questions from the large press corps which was present.

Darin Johnson explained some of the many issues that are affecting farming today, from weather and crop prices, to tariffs and international trade issues.

Bloomberg made a few comments about some of the issues Johnson talked about, but for the most part he did just listen to the concerns being expressed.

Afterwards, Bloomberg met privately with some of the ag representatives who were present.

Bloomberg, 77, is the co-founder, CEO, and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P. He was the mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. He has a net worth of $57 billion.

Bloomberg is one of at least 14 candidates vying for the Democratic Party nomination for president. Some of the others include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.