Today (March 30), the Minnesota Senate Agriculture & Rural Development Committee is finalizing its proposed budget — and its proposal falls short.
While the Governor and the Minnesota House Climate Action Caucus have put out exciting proposals to build a resilient, regenerative farm and food system, the Senate is failing to include meaningful investments in the countryside. Would you take just a few moments to e-mail the Senate Agriculture & Rural Development Committee?
With an historic budget surplus, there’s no excuse to fail to deliver for our independent small and mid-sized farmers, food system, and rural communities this legislative session. You can read the Land Stewardship Project’s recent letter to the Senate Agriculture & Rural Development Finance & Policy Committee here.
We need to push the Senate to restore the Governor’s proposal, at minimum, and ask them to strengthen it further by:
- Creating a Certification Navigator Position within the Minnesota Department of Agriculture with $150,000 to help processors develop HAACP and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) plans for their operations and navigate certification and inspection processes.
- Including $100,000 for reimbursing small meat processors for food safety and business planning.
- Establishing statewide soil-healthy farming goals and creating a statewide soil health action plan.
- Doubling the funding for the farm-to-school grant program to match demand for the program and allow early care centers to participate.