Category: Policy

Making your voices heard: Recapping MCGA's Legislative Reception

Every spring, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) hosts its annual Legislative Reception in St. Paul.

MCGA farmer-leaders spend a lot of time at the State Capitol meeting with legislators, agency staff and other leaders. The Legislative Reception is an opportunity for corn farmers and legislators to come together in a more informal setting to visit about a variety of issues, and get to know a little bit more about each other in the process.

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Legislative Update: Buffers, property taxes and Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway

Property tax relief for farmers continues moving forward, there are new developments with buffer legislation and a Vikings linebacker expressed his support for ethanol. All of that, and more, in this week’s legislative update, so let’s get right to it:

Buffers
Let’s start this legislative update off the way we start most updates: With news about buffer legislation.

The House had two committee hearings on buffer legislation last week, one in the environment committee and one in the agriculture committee.

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Legislative update: Buffers, cover crops, pollinators and GMO labeling

The Minnesota legislative session is moving right along, including several items that impact Minnesota’s corn farmers. Here’s an update on a few items that came up last week and will be coming up this week:

State

  • A bill authored by Sen. Rod Skoe that would alter the new buffer law advanced to the Senate Environment Committee. It’s companion bill on the House side, carried by Rep. Paul Torkelson, is set to be heard on Wednesday in the House Environment Committee.

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Minnesota Corn Growers focus on taxes, buffers during Day on the Hill

With the legislative session currently in full swing, 22 grower-leaders from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) spent Tuesday, March 15 at the Capitol in St. Paul talking property taxes, buffers and other agriculture issues during MCGA’s Day on the Hill.

“Our top priority this session is property tax relief,” said Raymond farmer and MCGA president Noah Hultgren. “There seems to be bi-partisan support on this issue, so it’s important that we keep reminding legislators how essential tax relief is to both the farm and overall rural economy.”

Resolving the private ditch issue and clarifying other items on the new buffer legislation was also a prominent topic.

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Ethanol Update: The RFS, ethanol's economic impact, oil subsidies and more

It’s been a while since we’ve updated everyone on the happenings in the world of clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol. So, we’ll forgo the chit-chat and get right into the update.

Reform instead of repeal?
It looks like “Big Oil” is shifting it’s strategy from trying to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to reforming it. However, part of those “reforms” include repealing the corn ethanol portion of the RFS.

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Commodity Classic draws largest crowd ever down to the Big Easy

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Better farm prices are right around the corner and farmers, the eternal optimists, want to be ready.

So this year, at Commodity Classic — the annual gathering of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers — for the first time ever included the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, who brought an expanded trade show exhibition.

“You could spend a whole day and not get through it — it was maybe one-third bigger than previous trade shows,

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Legislative session preview: Property taxes, water and transportation top list of agricultural issues

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director

The 2016 Minnesota legislative session began this week and is scheduled to end on May 23. That gives lawmakers about 11 weeks to address everything from tax relief to transportation, water quality to a bonding bill, and probably a few issues that aren’t even on our radar at this time.

Oh, and there’s that $900 million state surplus…

Agriculture issues
Before the sessions kicks into high gear,

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Dismissed by the Pioneer Press: Making farmers' voices heard on water quality

Before last weekend’s water summit hosted by Gov. Mark Dayton, two Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer-leaders submitted guest columns to both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. We thought it was important that farmers were part of the discussion in the days leading up to the summit.

Unfortunately, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press did not agree as both guest columns went unpublished. 

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Ignored by the Star Tribune: 4 steps toward improving water quality

Before last weekend’s water summit hosted by Gov. Mark Dayton, two Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer-leaders submitted guest columns to both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. We thought it was important that farmers were part of the discussion in the days leading up to the summit.

Unfortunately, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press did not agree as both guest columns went unpublished. 

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Governor’s Water Summit: Can state’s water challenges be made into economic opportunities?

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The ballroom at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul filled to overflowing on Saturday with an estimated 800 stakeholders all gathered to draw up the outlines of an action plan for restoring and protecting Minnesota’s waters.

A strong representation of farmers and agribusiness attended the meeting — 17 grower leaders from Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), joined by representatives of Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union and other agricultural groups — all there to describe the work farmers have put into improving water quality,

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