Category: Policy

This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff
Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Policy Director

Avian influenza and buffers remained the most-publicized agriculture issue at the state capitol last week, but as usual, there were plenty of other ag issues farmers should be aware of as well. Here is this week’s legislative update:

Buffers
Not much new to report on Gov. Dayton’s buffer proposal. The governor met with Northfield farmer and MCGA President Bruce Peterson,

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Corn farmers spend day at state capitol talking buffers and other ag issues

About 15 farmer-leaders from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) spent a day last week at the state capitol meeting with legislators and sharing their point of view on issues and legislation that impacts Minnesota’s 25,000 corn farmers.

Legislative visits are a great way for corn farmers to ensure that issues important to them remain a priority for lawmakers during busy legislative sessions. It’s also another example of MCGA’s grassroots activities.

“Now more than ever before,

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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff
Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Policy Director

Gov. Dayton’s buffer proposal and the bioeconomy bill once again lead this week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol. On the federal side, we have a Renewable Fuel Standard update and news on the Waters of the United States legislation.

Before getting to this week’s update, I’d like to thank the farmer-leaders from Minnesota Corn who spent Tuesday at the capitol visiting legislators and meeting with agency leaders.

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Gov. Dayton to host public meetings on buffer strip proposal

Gov. Mark Dayton will host public meetings on Thursday, April 2, in Worthington and Austin to discuss his buffer strip proposal.

If you’re a farmer and would like to make your voice heard on the governor’s proposal to require 50-foot buffers on all waterways, this is your chance.

Here are details for each meeting:

EVENT 1: WORTHINGTON

WHO:
Governor Mark Dayton
Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson
Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr
Local leaders
Area residents

WHAT:
Public meeting to discuss Governor Dayton’s proposed initiative to improve Minnesota water quality and animal habitat through the use of buffer strips

WHEN:
Thursday,

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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

I spent a portion of last week in Washington D.C. with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President, 1st Vice President, Government Relations Chair and Executive Director. We had productive meetings with Minnesota’s congressional delegation, as well as with leadership from USDA, Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

Back in Minnesota, business continued during the Minnesota legislative session. The legislature is on break through April 6, so things have quieted down a bit after another busy week.

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Corn Views: Farmers are losing the public perception battle

Northfield farmer and Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Bruce Peterson wrote a new “Corn Views” column this week that focused on Gov. Dayton’s proposed buffer strip legislation and the importance of farmers telling their own conservation story.

Peterson wrote that MCGA strongly supports the use of buffer strips, but opposes a portion of the governor’s legislation that calls for a one-size-fits-all 50-foot buffer requirement. Peterson writes:

Agricultural research shows that a one-size-fits all buffer solution is not the most effective or efficient strategy for improving water quality.

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Statement from Northfield farmer and MCGA President Bruce Peterson on buffer strip legislation

The following is a statement from Bruce Peterson, a farmer in Northfield and President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, on legislation introduced this week that would require farmers to use 50-foot buffer strips along waterways:

“The Minnesota Corn Growers Association supports the use of buffers as one of the many best management practices farmers use to protect water quality. We also support existing buffer laws and their vigorous local enforcement,

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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Public Policy Director

Last week was a busy one in the Minnesota legislature for ag water quality legislation. There’s more ag water quality legislation on tap this week in both of the House and the Senate.

All the ag-related happenings from last week and the ag-related happenings that might go down this week are included below in this week’s update. Also included is a call to action on important ag research legislation:

  • Look for Rep.

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Commodity Classic lives up to its billing as “America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show.”

written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Almost 8,000 farmers attended Commodity Classic on February 26-28 in Phoenix, organized by the National Corn Growers Association, as well as national soybean, wheat and sorghum associations. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed attendees at this not-to-be-missed event on the American farmer’s calendar. He spoke about upcoming trade agreements with Asia and Pacific Rim countries, and also announced a one-time extension for farmers to update base acres and yield data.

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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Public Policy Director

I’m back after spending the last week in Washington D.C. and Phoenix on a very interesting MARL trip and another productive Commodity Classic, respectively.

While I was away, the Minnesota legislature learned that the budget surplus is now projected to be $1.89 billion, an increase of $832 million over the November forecast. That’s certainly good news as the March 20 first committee deadline approaches.

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