ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House approved the Ag Budget Monday on a 70-62 vote.

The nearly 60 million dollar budget was part of the omnibus agriculture, broadband, and housing package. Mike Sundin, chair of the House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee says the new programs build on an already proven system.

Minnesota has a rich agriculture tradition and food grown and produced in our state feeds the entire world. The legislation boosts opportunities for emerging farmers and producers, ensures we’re better able to respond to ag. emergencies like the current Avian Influenza outbreak, and delivers new investments in resilient, sustainable practices to ensure all Minnesotans will have access to the fresh, nutritious food they count on.

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The bill invests a total of $60 million in the current biennium for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, with an additional $15 million for the next biennium.

Other investments include:

  • funding to address noxious weeds and invasive plant species
  • a program to support farmers markets and direct marketing producers
  • lab testing for the Minnesota meat and poultry inspection program, the soil health financial assistance, pollinator research, and a food safety program analysis
  • a prohibition on plastic-coated fertilizers and pesticides and regulates disposal of seed treated with a neonicotinoid pesticide
  • increases funding for Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation programs, including Good Food Access, Urban and Youth Ag, and Farm to School grants

The Minnesota Senate could take up their own bill as early as Thursday. Read the complete bill here.

 

 

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