Tag: Water Quality

New report defines sustainability from consumer and farmer point of view

“Sustainability” is a word with tremendous implications that lacks a universal definition. To dive into what being sustainable means to both the consumer and general public, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) launched the Agriculture in America Sustainability report this year.

Following a six-month media and communications audit, the USFRA found consumers are having a number of conversations around sustainability as it relates to food and agriculture. First, consumers struggle to define it,

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MN State Capitol

Legislative Recap: End of session and special session full of drama

The Legislature did not fully complete its business, including the passage of omnibus tax and budget bills, by the constitutional deadline of May 22nd at midnight, and went into a special session that finally concluded early Friday morning. Following is a report regarding key legislative issues important to farmers:

BUFFER LEGISLATION
The omnibus environmental and natural resources policy and finance bill was passed just before the close of the regular session. As amended,

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2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Farmers and local governments agree water buffer law is not ready

One of the most important issues we have discussed during this legislative session is the need to make modifications to the water buffer law and to delay its implementation. The law was originally passed in 2015 and is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1st of this year. Unfortunately, the law is just not ready to be implemented.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has taken a leadership role in communicating with lawmakers,

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Lawmakers pick up negotiations on key topics

State legislators returned to St. Paul from their annual Spring Break this week to open House-Senate negotiations on the state budget, taxes and other issues, including several bills that impact corn farmers and agriculture. Prior to the Easter/Passover break, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) took the lead in organizing a media outreach effort to raise awareness of key ag issues and urge farmers and rural residents to contact legislators during the break. The MCGA effort generated dozens of media mentions across Minnesota,

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Buffer near Montevideo, MN

Buffers: Here’s where we are at

One of the most important topics to farmers during the 2017 legislative session, the buffer law was created to protect state water resources from erosion and runoff pollution. While farmers agree with the intended outcome, many are concerned with various aspects of timing and implementation of the buffers.

At the Capitol, the House and Senate proposed legislation that includes delaying buffer law implementation, modified definitions of public waters and necessary buffer widths,

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2017 Minnesota Session

MN Legislative Update: Lawmakers return to full agenda

Minnesota State Legislators return to St. Paul on April 18 with a significant number of issues to address during the closing five weeks of the 2017 session. Leaders in both the House and Senate established earlier committee deadlines to better manage larger pieces legislation before the session is scheduled to end and to avoid the potential for a special session. As a result, several bills with impacts to the agriculture sector could be taken up soon.

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2017 Legislative Update

Connect with lawmakers during legislative Spring Break

Talk to your legislators this week! State policymakers are making headway at the capitol on several significant issues. But before many of the major decisions are made, legislators will take a one-week break beginning April 10 to meet with local constituents and recharge.

The legislative Spring Break is the perfect time for Minnesota’s farmers to make their voices heard. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) urges members and others from rural Minnesota to contact state lawmakers and express their views about a few key issues that need to be resolved in the closing weeks of the 2017 legislative session.

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2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Major bills moving to closure

In the days leading up to the Legislature’s annual Spring Break (April 7-16), several high-profile bills have either received approval and await Gov. Dayton’s action or are making the final turns in the legislative process before moving forward for the Governor’s approval.

Health Insurance Reform
Although Congress was unable to pass a health insurance reform package in March, the Minnesota Legislature did. Both the Senate and House passed the reinsurance plan that we have discussed in recent weeks,

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: State budget proposals unveiled

Under the Minnesota Constitution, the State Legislature and Governor are responsible for developing a new state budget every two years. Budgets are crafted during odd numbered years, immediately following the previous year’s elections. The state’s fiscal budget year is July 1 – June 30, so the legislature and Governor have a real deadline, unless they are prepared to risk a government shutdown.

How well a state budget is developed and adopted depends in part on ideological differences between those who control the state’s House,

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Health insurance re-emerges as significant issue

During the first few weeks of this year’s Legislative session, Republicans and Democrats worked quickly to pass a bipartisan bill to provide $326 million in premium relief to people who obtain their health insurance through the individual market exchange. When passing the bill, legislators and Gov. Dayton acknowledged that a more permanent solution was needed to avoid skyrocketing insurance premiums for 2018 and to ensure that insurance companies wouldn’t abandon the individual market. During March,

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