Over the past few months, teams of Land Stewardship Project members who are farmers, farm-workers, processors, marketers, and rural Minnesotans have been coming together to put together a legislative agenda focused on ensuring all people and the land thrive, no exceptions. With the largest surplus in our state’s history and the legislative session starting on Monday, January 31, we have an opportunity to advance our values of stewardship, justice, democracy, health, and community right at our finger tips. I hope you can join us in fighting for a state budget and state policies that create a just and sustainable farm and food system and healthy communities.
This coming session, LSP members and supporters will be championing and advocating for:
- Establishing statewide soil-healthy farming goals: 5.75 million acres in soil-healthy practices by 2030, 11.5 million acres by 2035, and 23 million acres by 2040.
- Publicly investing in the public good — clean water, healthy soil, and our farmers — by appropriating dollars from the surplus in the Soil Health Cost-Share Program that we established in the 2021 legislative session.
- Funding a Farmer Resiliency Navigator position to help producers across the state navigate ever-changing weather and unpredictable growing seasons through research and hands-on help.
- Increasing the budget and resources available for Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which provide boots-on-the-ground support for farmers.
- The creation of a Continuous Living Cover Value-Chain Fund to develop markets and adequate processing for regenerative crops.
- Passing a drought package to provide significant relief for specialty crop and livestock producers, setting a precedent for channeling resources to small and mid-sized producers in the future.
Expanding local small and mid-sized meat processing and opportunities for people to join the industry.
- Investing in the infrastructure needed for small and mid-sized farms and aggregators to serve our communities fresh, local foods.
- Protecting the ability of counties and townships to protect their communities and landscapefrom exploitative, extractive industries, like factory farming and frac sand mining.
- And more!
Below are three upcoming virtual opportunities for getting involved:
- Caucus for People & the Land: On Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m., join us in learning about what it means to engage in the caucus process, why it’s more important than ever to caucus, and how you can advance LSP’s priorities through your party’s platform. Caucus night for all parties is Tuesday, February 1, at 7 p.m., in person. Register here.
- 2022 Soil Health & Climate Campaign Kick-Off: On Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m., join the Soil Health & Climate Steering Committee in kicking off our campaign for the new year. Launch our 2022 strategy with us, hear directly from LSP members leading the campaign, and get involved in caucusing for soil health, holding in-district meetings with your legislators, and pushing the Governor and legislative leadership to being champions for people and the land. Register here.
- Healthcare Town Hall with MN Attorney General Keith Ellison: On Thursday, Jan. 27, at 6:30 p.m., join LSP’s Healthcare Steering Committee for a virtual town hall with MN Attorney General Keith Ellison to discuss how the people of Minnesota can take control of our healthcare system by addressing the ever-rising costs of prescription drug prices. Register here.