Minnesota Passes Farm Policy Bill

Earlier this week, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed an agricultural policy bill into law. The bill, which passed the Minnesota Congress last week, enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

With the 2012 Farm Bill still working its way through the national House and Senate, individual states are working hard to ensure that local farmers still enjoy vital agricultural protections and safety nets. In addition, many states see their own agricultural policy bills as important ways to encourage and promote specific agricultural goals without having to rely on an increasingly dysfunctional federal Congress.

The Minnesota bill in question focuses on encouraging alternative energy use and exploring agricultural research initiatives. The bill expanded biodiesel exceptions for railroads, mining camps, and logging operations, increasing the appeal of adapting to new forms of fuel consumption. In addition, it lengthened the easement period for wind farms until 2017, giving fledgling wind farm projects a longer chance to establish themselves.

The Minnesota Farm Bureau praised Governor Dayton as well as the leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate. “We thank Governor Dayton, Chair Magnus, Chair Hamilton and members of the agricultural committees in both the House and Senate and all legislators for passing, on a bipartisan basis, the 2012 Agriculture Policy Bill,” said Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer