Agriculture committee members find compromise on policy, but budget negotiations remain

As the conference committee members for the 2021 Agriculture Omnibus Budget Bill waited on a budget target, they worked instead to find compromise and agreements on policy. This resulted in the successful passage of a small policy bill.

Senate DFLers were able to extend the state’s farmer-lender mediation act for another five years, expand opportunities for cottage food businesses, allow small meat processors or “garage processers” to maintain their businesses without what can be costly burdens. Several other small policy provisions that will help improve the lives of farmers and the agriculture economy in Minnesota were also included.

The committee also received a new target. While Senate Republicans had set a $40 million target for broadband and a $0 target for any new investments in agriculture, DFLers were able to fight to increase this to $70 million for broadband and $10 million for agriculture.

This increased funding will allow us to support Minnesota’s farmers as they work to put food on all our tables. Senate DFLers will continue to fight for Minnesota’s farmers as we head into negotiations and work to pass a budget during special session. (SF 958)