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AgriGrowth Thanks Legislature for Addressing Critical Needs
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/15/2017

Perry Aasness, executive director of the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, thanked the Minnesota Legislature for passing an Agriculture Finance bill that funds the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and addresses several key priorities for Minnesota's agriculture sector. AgriGrowth also urges Governor Dayton to act quickly and sign this important legislation into law.

"AgriGrowth appreciates the efforts of Chairman Rod Hamilton and Chairman Torrey Westrom in working with their colleagues to pass a bill with bipartisan support that addresses several critical issues facing Minnesota farmers and agribusiness," said Aasness. "We ask Governor Dayton to affirm the priorities in the bill with his signature, and show Minnesotans we can work together to support this important sector of our states' economy."

Contained in the bill are several important priorities AgriGrowth has championed this session, including:

- New funding for pollinator research, to help determine best pollinator habitat for both commercial bees and wild pollinators.

- Funding to assist with the eradication of noxious weeds and invasive plant species.

- Continued funding for the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension, and Technology Transfer Program to help fund agricultural research positions at the University of Minnesota, as well as critical research related to avian influenza.

- Authorizes and funds the establishment of voluntary farmer-led watershed councils to help better address local water quality needs and priorities

- Funding for Minnesota farmers and value added agricultural businesses to develop new markets both locally and globally.

"Equally important, this bill also addresses a rising concern from farmers across the state," Aasness continued. "It reaffirms long-standing farm management practices that adhere to federal labeling laws when applying pesticides."

"Minnesota has a long, and proud tradition at the Capitol of governors and legislators coming together to agree on Agriculture policy and finance bills, no matter how much they may disagree on many other issues," Aasness concluded. "We hope the current leaders will continue to exemplify that bipartisan tradition. Now that the legislature has done its work, we urge Governor Dayton to sign this legislation quickly into law."

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