Our vision for an abundant Minnesota with healthy land and water, thriving small and midsized farms and processing facilities, and healthy local foods has a big opportunity to advance at the state Legislature this week.
We have FOUR hearings this week to invest part of our historic budget surplus in a farm and food system that reflects our values. Will you take just two minutes to urge your state legislators to be champions for soil health and local processing?
Bills being heard this week would:
- Invest $20 million of the state’s historic budget surplus into healthy soils programs to ensure all farmers have the resources they need to invest in the health, resiliency, and diversity of their land and pocketbook (HF 3302 – Lippert).
- Establish a statewide goal of reaching 5.75 million acres managed under soil-healthy practices by 2030, 11.5 million acres by 2035, and all 23 million acres by 2040. This would focus our state institutions on greatly expanding agricultural practices that benefit our land, water, climate, farmers, and rural, urban, and suburban communities and economies (HF 3302 – Lippert).
- Create a Certification Navigator position within the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to assist local meat processors in developing safety plans and navigating the inspection and certification processes (SF 3964 – Frentz).
- Create a mini-grant program to reimburse small meat processors for attending meat-cutting, processing, health, safety, and business planning trainings (HF 3640 – N. Nelson, SF 3320 – Rarick).
- Bolster funding for Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which are crucial boots-on-the-ground support for farmers and landowners (HF 3719 – Reyer, SF 3913 – Rest).
Please take just a moment to contact your legislators now and ask them to join us in stewarding a countryside abundant with perennial pastures, perennial crops, cover crops, and no-tilled soil by investing in healthy soil and local processing!