Article provided by the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Yesterday, the House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division, chaired by Rep. Jeanne Poppe , finalized the committee’s budget legislation and completed its committee work for the legislative session. The bill, HF 2200, passed through committee on a voice vote.
“The culmination of our committee’s budget work this session strives to lift up Minnesota’s farming communities and spark innovation in agriculture,” said Rep. Poppe. “Minnesota has a diverse and varied agricultural and food production industry, something that's reflected by the priorities in this legislation. Working with a much-appreciated biennial increase, we were able to invest in farmer mental health, farm-to-school programs, market growth, and research that will put Minnesota at the forefront of the industry."
“There are some really good aspects to the bill,” said Rep. Jeff Brand, the committee’s vice chair. “We’re providing funding for industrial hemp development, improving food access at all levels, increasing meat inspections, and providing policies and resources to deal with Chronic Wasting Disease on farm sites.”
In addition to funding the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the budget bill invests in agriculture research, protection services, marketing and development, financial assistance, bioenergy, and the Board of Animal Health. The budget sees an overall 4.5 percent increase in funding for MDA. Specific provisions include:
Additional funding and counselors for farmer mental health with Farm Advocates
Good Food Access grants
Urban and youth agriculture funding
Industrial hemp definitions and expedited rulemaking
Research to combat Chronic Wasting Disease, African Swine Fever, and the Emerald Ash Borer
The bill was referred to Ways & Means. A spreadsheet listing programs and their invested amounts can be found here.