SAINT PAUL, Minn. — A $1 billion proposal released by the Minnesota House Climate Action Caucus today represents a meaningful investment in the health of our farms, soil, water, climate and rural communities, said leaders of the Land Stewardship Project (LSP).
“LSP applauds the Minnesota House Climate Action Caucus for crafting a strong proposal that ensures our soil, farmers and rural communities thrive,” said Deborah Allan, a retired University of Minnesota soil scientist and chair of LSP’s board of directors. “With the largest surplus in our state’s history, the caucus is taking advantage of the enormous opportunity to make the kinds of investments that will pay off long into the future.”
The $1 billion proposal includes key priorities of LSP’s Soil Health and Climate Steering Committee, such as:
- $20 million for the Soil Health Cost-Share Program that LSP members successfully established during the 2021 state legislative session.
- $40 million for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and other native grass conservation programs.
- $20 million for the Forever Green Initiative, a program at the University of Minnesota that develops and commercializes cover crops, perennial crops and other regenerative crops.
- $10 million to advance commercialization of continuous living cover crops.
“By bolstering the Soil Health Cost-Share program, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, commercialization of continuous living cover crops and the Forever Green Initiative, we will see a tangible impact on the resiliency of our land and the health of our farmers and rural economies,” said Allan.
The inclusion of LSP priorities in this proposal is a direct result of the co-governing partnership between LSP members and legislative champions who are dedicated to serving people and the land, according to LSP policy manager Amanda Koehler.
“Representative Todd Lippert of Northfield in particular has been in deep relationship with our members and has fought to include LSP priorities in the House Climate Action Caucus proposals, House budget bills and final legislative budget bills,” Koehler said. “LSP members will be on the front lines this legislative session, organizing to ensure this package and our additional policy priorities are successfully included in the final budget.”
The Minnesota-based Land Stewardship Project (LSP) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1982 to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop healthy communities. LSP’s work has a broad and deep impact, from new farmer training and local organizing, to federal policy and community based food systems development. At the core of all LSP’s work are the values of stewardship, justice and democracy. To learn more, visit https://landstewardshipproject.org/.