Category: Policy

2017 Minnesota Session

Early legislative action is favorable for farmers

Written by John Himle

In late December I remarked in this space how the 2016 election would be one for the history books. If the first few weeks of 2017 under the capitol dome are any indication, then this legislative session may likewise become one for future study.

Before the opening gavel and through the first few weeks of the session, both the Governor and Legislative leaders voiced strong opinions about the health insurance crisis looming in the state’s individual marketplace,

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Buffers in eastern MN

Buffer alternatives: Finding the right conservation ‘fit’ for each farm

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Minnesota’s buffer law was created to protect state water resources from erosion and runoff pollution. While Minnesota farmers agree with the intended outcomes of the buffer law, many are concerned that what is proscribed in the legislation will not achieve the intended results.

That’s why the law was also written to give farmers and landowners ‘alternatives’ in cases where the vegetative buffer won’t work or where there might be an even better way to achieve the same water quality benefit.

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Minnesota Harvest

Klobuchar’s office to host public forums as part of Farm Bill Tour

On Monday, January 23, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office will kick off her Farm Bill Tour. Klobuchar’s staff will join with Minnesota agriculture leaders – including Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson – to gather input from Minnesotans on ways to strengthen the 2018 Farm Bill. Over the two-day tour, Klobuchar’s office will host forums open to the public in six counties across Minnesota. The forums are free and open to the public. Growers are encouraged to attend.

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MN Ag EXPO

Pre-register now for MN Ag EXPO 2017

We’re less than one month away from MN Ag EXPO 2017!

MN Ag EXPO, January 25-26 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, is the premiere winter event for Minnesota farmers. Planned and coordinated by Minnesota’s corn and soybean organizations, MN Ag EXPO 2017 is shaping up to be better than ever.

Whether you’re new to MN Ag EXPO or attend every single year, here are some things to know about the 2017 event:

Pre-register online.

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MN Legislature

Legislative session preview: Tax policy, health insurance and other key agricultural issues

Written by John Himle 

Elections matter, and the 2016 election will be one for the history books! Regardless of who you supported, elections have a powerful impact in shaping mandates when lawmakers take their oath of office. The good news for farmers and rural Minnesota is a key mandate from the November 8th election: state/federal policymakers need to pay more attention to rural issues and voters.

Hillary Clinton managed to score only a very narrow victory in Minnesota,

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Harold Wolle

MCGA seeks common sense solutions to health insurance concerns

Dear MCGA member,

Over the past few weeks, members have shared their stories with us regarding cancelled health insurance coverage and massive premium hikes. What we have heard overwhelmingly from our members is that options are limited and the options that are available are unaffordable, an issue further compounded by a struggling rural economy.

MCGA will be discussing potential solutions to pursue legislatively over the next few months during our grassroots process.

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Election 2016

2016 Election: A Minnesota recap

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director

As we all form our own understanding and opinions about the 2016 election cycle and what it means to agriculture policy going forward, here’s a very brief update on how things shook out in Minnesota.

Big changes in the Minnesota Legislature:

The Minnesota Senate will change hands as the GOP made a net gain of 6 seats to take the majority.

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Harold Wolle provides a tour to a U.S. Grain Council trade team

Marketing MN farm products to the world

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

How important are export markets to Minnesota farmers?

  • $539.5 million in annual sales of grain and grain products
  • $1.2 billion in total economic output generated
  • $381.7 million of the Gross State Product (GSP)
  • 3,988 Minnesota jobs supported by export sales

(source: Value of Trade Study, 2014, US Grains Council)

“We have grown a tremendous crop this year,

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USDA-NASS Logo

Farmers: Remember to complete NASS surveys

The confidential crop survey from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be arriving in your mailbox soon—and it’s very important that you take the time to complete it.

The number of farmers completing the NASS survey has been declining in recent years, and that’s bad news for farmers. Survey results are important in determining the implementation of farm payments and programs—from the Agriculture Risk Coverage Program (county option) to the Price Loss Coverage Program—even farm appraisals.

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Partnerships will help Minnesota corn farmers become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible in the U.S.

Written by Zach Fore

Part of the appeal of corn farming is the independence it offers. You are your own boss, using a combination of science, skill, gut feeling and a little bit of luck to grow a crop every year and (hopefully) turn a profit.

But corn farmers can’t do it all on their own. Finding the right partners is key to helping corn farmers improve their own operations,

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