Category: Policy

Tax relief and conformity among legislative priorities during session

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

The 91st session for the Minnesota Legislature convened today. Even though some of the same policy challenges persist for Minnesota, there are new dynamics, faces and leadership as the legislative session gets underway.

Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan were inaugurated alongside other state constitutional officers—attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor. Governor Mark Dayton served his last day as governor and is retiring after 40 years of public service.

Read more >

Petersen announced as next Commissioner of Agriculture

Governor-elect Tim Walz announced the appointment of Thom Petersen as the next Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture earlier today. Currently government relations director for Minnesota Farmers Union, Petersen will succeed Dave Frederickson, who was appointed commissioner by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011.

Following today’s announcement, Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Brian Thalmann released the following statement:

“The state’s corn growers would like to congratulate Thom Petersen on his appointment to commissioner of agriculture.

Read more >

Groundwater Protection Rule adoption delayed till after 2019 legislative session

In an Oct. 2 article, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) updated readers on a procedural decision involving the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule. At that time, the Office of Administrative Hearings issued an Order determining that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) had demonstrated the need for and reasonableness of most of the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule (also known as the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule).

The Order did determine a few portions of the proposed rule were defective and should be disapproved.

Read more >

The 2018 farm bill is revealed, passes in House and Senate

Update: The U.S House and Senate overwhelmingly passed the 2018 farm bill, which now awaits President Trump’s signature. Below is a statement from Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Brian Thalmann on the farm bill’s passage:

“Minnesota’s corn growers thank the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees for their work to complete a farm bill this year and members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation for their support of the bill. The full protection of crop insurance,

Read more >

What farmers can expect in a 2018 farm bill

By Jeff Harrison, Combest Sell & Associates

The 2018 farm bill conference report had been slated for consideration and final passage by the House Wednesday—exactly 28 years and 1 week from the date on which then President George H.W. Bush signed the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act into law.

However, Congress has primarily suspended legislative activity this week—with Wednesday as an official day of mourning—as the nation pays respects to the 41st President of the United States whose hand enacted the 1990 farm bill.

Read more >

Federal elections reinforce rural, metro party divide

Minnesotans came out to vote last Tuesday, with nearly 2.6 million people hitting the polls – a midterm turnout of nearly 64 percent. For both political parties, there were some major victories and disappointing losses once all ballots were counted.

Statewide elections were a clean sweep for the Democratic Party. Tim Walz beat Republican-endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson in the governor race. Amy Klobuchar continued her stronghold in the U.S. Senate, with Tina Smith joining her after defeating Republican Karin Housley.

Read more >

Walz, Feehan visit Courtland farm to discuss issues impacting corn farmers

Gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz and First Congressional District candidate Dan Feehan visited the Courtland farm of Tim Waibel Friday to discuss issues corn farmers are facing in the First District and all of Minnesota.

The visit was the latest in the “MN Corn Grows MN” campaign, which was launched to bring candidates for elected office to family corn farms to raise awareness of the importance of corn farming in our state.

Upon arrival,

Read more >

MN Capitol

Minnesota Corn Growers Association requests candidate support for Buffer Property Tax Credit

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association sent a letter to candidates for Governor and the Minnesota House of Representatives requesting their support for the Buffer Property Tax Credit to address the unfairness of continuing to tax farmland converted to buffers at a tax level that assumes those acres are still producing crops and revenue.

In an effort led by MCGA, the Buffer Property Tax Credit was introduced during the 2018 legislative session not to challenge the Minnesota Buffer Law,

Read more >

NAFTA agreement brings much-needed certainty to Minnesota corn farmers

Late Sunday, the United States, Canada and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), renamed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The news was met with praise by Minnesota farmers.

“While we are still evaluating its benefit to American agriculture, this week’s agreement is a much-needed positive development for Minnesota corn farmers and their families,” Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Brian Thalmann said. “Both Mexico and Canada have become vital trade partners under NAFTA,

Read more >

ALJ report concludes Groundwater Protection Rule may move forward

The Office of Administrative Hearings issued its report with respect to the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule on Monday, concluding that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) may move forward with the proposed rule, subject to a few required modifications.

In August, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) testified and submitted comments showing that the additional regulations were not necessary at this time. While the administrative law judge ruled the Groundwater Protection Rule should move forward,

Read more >