Legislative Update: MCGA testifies on ag innovation, holds annual Day on the Hill

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has a busy
week at the Capitol, with key testimony emphasizing the importance of ag
innovation and MCGA’s annual Day on the Hill. As the pace of legislative action
continues to pick up in St. Paul, the timing of both are favorable.

First up, MCGA President Brian Thalmann testified Tuesday in
front on the Minnesota House Committee on Agriculture and Food Finance and
Policy Division. With the committee hearing focused on ag innovation,

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: Budgets revealed and ag research funding bills introduced

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association Senior Public Policy Director

Last
week Governor Tim Walz released his first two-year budget proposal. Later this
week, the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) will release a revised economic
forecast, which will be used by legislators and the Governor to construct a
two-year budget for Minnesota before adjournment in May.

In
November, MMB projected a $1.5 billion surplus for the next two-year budget
cycle,

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Innovation Grant Program funds 12 projects in 2019

The Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program returns for its
fourth year in 2019, funding farmer-led, conservation-minded research projects.
Each project will test a novel solution that prevents nitrogen and phosphorous
loss on the farm. 

Farmers had until Dec. 31 to submit their Innovation Grant
proposal. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and Minnesota Corn
Research & Promotion Council funded 12 of those for the 2019 growing
season.

Participants in 2019 include both new recipients of grants
and farmers who are continuing projects initially funded in past years of the
program.

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MCGA welcomes three to board of directors

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) welcomed three
new board members to its joint meeting with the Minnesota Corn Research &
Promotion Council last week. The three were elected by delegates to January’s MCGA
annual meeting at MN Ag EXPO.

Dana Allen-Tully, who lives in Eyota, was elected to
represent farmers in District 3. Allen-Tully owns and manages a dairy farm
where they also grow corn, alfalfa, sweet peas and sweet corn. David (D.J.)
VanKlompenburg and Jim Kanten were elected to At-Large positions.

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MN Capitol

Buffer property tax relief included in Governor’s two-year budget proposal

Governor Tim Walz announced his $49.5 billion budget
proposal today. In the two-year spending plan, Walz included $15 million to
address property tax relief for land in compliance with Minnesota’s buffer law.

Review proposed tax
aids, credits and refunds here
and refer to page 23 for specifics on “buffer credit for agricultural land.”

Today’s budget will be revised after an economic forecast in
late February/early March, as well as negotiated throughout the current legislative
session.

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