Fall Agriculture Update

image I hope you’ve had a good summer and are starting to enjoy the fall colors. I spent much of this summer visiting with people in our community and hearing what issues matter the most to them. Also in order to do a more informed job at the legislature, I’ve been touring Minnesota looking at various farming and industrial sites to discuss issues surrounding land and water use. Minnesota has been a pioneer in farming techniques and agricultural stewardship. As large-scale industrial farming has replaced family farms, we’ve seen many changes on the rural landscape over the years. Those changes include both economic and environmental impacts that some argue have made farming while preserving soil and water quality more challenging. Many of the places I’ve visited in rural Minnesota shared these concerns and highlighted efforts being made to mitigate these negative impacts.

Supporting farmers in Minnesota is a bipartisan issue.

acres-of-corn   Supporting farmers in Minnesota is a bipartisan issue. We often hear how we should support all kinds of agriculture and I agree. Whether Republicans or Democrats controlled agriculture committees, we’ve been united in our goal to make sure farmers in Minnesota thrive. However, just like you can’’ t fit everything you might want to […]

Legislative Actions on the Projected Surplus

Surplus The 2014 Legislative session set out to achieve a balanced distribution of the $1.2 billion surplus projected by the Economic and Budget Forecast and a review of the final accounting reveals that we did just that. According to the 2014 Legislative Summary, new laws included tax relief, local aids and credit, increased funding for K-12 and higher […]

Committee Vote on Buy the Farm amendments expected March 20

capX My Bill, HF 338, amends Minnesota’s Buy the Farm law to capture the original intent of the law and further protect farmers when utilities acquire land to build high voltage transmission lines. According to an article in the Pioneer Press, the need for the changes arose out of complaints from farmers who claim that energy […]

Economy Talk 5: Building a Local Economy

This Wed. May 4, at 6pm listen to my conversation with Reginaldo (Regi) Haslett-Marroquin, Program Director, Rural Enterprise Center and founder of Hillside Farmers Cooperative. Regi launched the Rural Enterprise Center program of Main Street Project in 2006, but has a long history of successful transnational entrepreneurial leadership. He began working on economic development projects […]

SFA’s Annual Conference

The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota held its 19th annual conference at St. Olaf College on Saturday, February 20th.  SFA’s mission is to support the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through innovation, demonstration, education, and farmer-to-farmer networking.  Mark Richie, Minnesota Secretary of State gave the keynote address “Farming 2020, A Sustainable Vision.”  The […]

More Info on Green Acres

For those of you unfamiliar with Green Acres, it is a program that has been in place for a long while to conserve agriculture land for family farmers and landowners by providing them a property tax rate that wouldn’t “price” them out of their land to developers. In efforts to modernize the program last session, […]

Minnesota Dept of Agriculture Grant Money

The MN Dept of Ag will award approximately $2.7 million in matching grants to qualified organizations for the purpose of helping MN develop energy sources that displace fossil fuels with renewable energy technologies. Grants are limited to 50% of the cost of research, technical assistance or equipment related to bioenergy production or up to $1 […]

Valuing Our Natural Resources

Sunday my church made its annual trek to the Valley Grove Church where we worshiped in the beautiful old church surrounded by ripening fields and restored prairie.  I volunteered to take the Sunday school class of 16 mixed age (4 to 8) students, which began with a song and a walk outside, looking for things […]
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