The Minnesota State Legislature only has 13 days left to take advantage of our historic state surplus — $9.25 billion — and invest in our farmers and communities at the scale that is needed to create vibrant resiliency on the land. There are big differences between what the House and Senate are willing to invest in farmers: $60 million (House) versus $5 million (Senate) are in their respective Agriculture Budgets. To see how this breaks down further, read our recent blog.
There are a number of proposals that the Land Stewardship Project has been championing and supporting this session that are on the line:
- Nearly $12 million for soil healthy financial assistance programs to scale up the number of acres utilizing soil healthy practices.
- $100,000 for grants for small meat processors to support business planning courses and food safety courses.
- $1.6 million for farm-to-school, and allowing early childcare centers to participate in this program.
- $1.25 million for direct marketing farmers and producers; $1 million of this for farmers’ markets.
- $3 million for hunger relief and support for BIPOC farmers.
Will you take just two minutes to urge your Senator, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, House Majority Leader Melissa Hortman, and Governor Tim Walz to not miss this opportunity to deliver for farmers, rural Minnesotans, and the working class?
With billions of dollars available, there is no excuse to not provide at-scale solutions to the biggest challenges we face. There are abundant resources available to expand local meat processing, to ensure farmers and landowners have the resources and technical support they need to build resiliency on the land, and to support our emerging farmers.
Now is the time to ask our leaders to take action: support our farmers, our rural communities, and a more just food and farming system.