For months, Land Stewardship Project members have been preparing to hit the ground running during the 2021 Minnesota legislative session to advance rural economic justice across the countryside. The 2021 session begins Tuesday, Jan. 5, and we need you with us. When we come together across zip codes, class, gender, and race, united in our values and vision, we have the power to shape our landscape and our future.
This legislative session, Land Stewardship Project members are advancing:
Economic Justice for Dairy Farmers
Just like when Walmart moves into town and closes Main Street, a single 10,000-cow dairy drives a hundred 100-cow dairies off the land. That’s why hundreds of dairy farmers are organizing through LSP to win a moratorium on new or expanding mega-dairies (dairy feedlots over 1,000 animal units). A moratorium is a cost-free investment into our current and future farming system.
Immediate Support for Farmers in Financial Crisis
As farmers across the state weather the compounding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, six years of low prices, and skyrocketing healthcare costs, our state must provide immediate support for farmers. This includes extending mediation periods, preventing farm foreclosures, and investing in Farm Advocates.
100% Soil Healthy Farming
Farmers are uniquely positioned to both mitigate and build community resilience from the climate crisis, yet are on the front lines of weathering its impacts.
That’s why LSP farmer-members are organizing to provide resources to achieve a statewide goal of 50% Soil Healthy Farming by 2030, and 100% Soil Healthy Farming by 2035. Innovative farming that generates public goods requires public support.
Expanding our Local & Regional Food Systems
By creating a robust network of local processors and expanding local markets for farm products, including public institutional buying, we bring jobs to rural communities, bolster farm income, and build a more resilient and healthy farm and food system for all of us.
Rural Minnesotans face some of the worst disparities in accessing the care they need. Ensuring that all Minnesotans have truly affordable, high-quality, accessible healthcare begins with expanding MinnesotaCare as a public option for all people, no exceptions. Additionally, we must provide financial relief to people facing the burden of our current profit-driven system.
We must creatively and equitably raise revenue to ensure all Minnesotans thrive. Funding our communities, such as investments in healthcare and education, requires raising revenue. We all need to contribute our fair share, and that includes our most profitable corporations and wealthiest residents.
Strengthening and Protecting our Democracy
In Minnesota, we value people-powered governance. We will fight to protect voting rights, elections integrity, free speech, fair redistricting, and local control.
LSP organizer Amanda Koehler can be reached via e-mail.