The governor held a press conference this week to highlight the need for funding farm safety initiatives in this year’s supplemental budget. Governor Walz also joined the federal government in declaring last week as Grain Bin Safety Week, to bring attention to the surge of farm accidents recently that resulted in the deaths of at least 10 Minnesota farmers. Farm safety has become a focal point for legislators this session, with critical farm safety legislation moving through the Senate.
Several reasons exist for the increase in farm accident-related deaths, with a lack of education and safety equipment for small family farms being a chief concern. In response, Senate DFLers are championing legislation to establish a cost-share or reimbursement program for farmers who invest in grain bin safety equipment and relaunch a grant program that reimburses farmers who retrofit their tractors to help prevent rollovers. The funding would also be used for public outreach about farm safety issues.
The bill is called Landon’s Law in honor of Landon Gran, an 18-year-old from rural Minnesota who tragically died in a grain bin accident last August. Landon’s mother has been a strong advocate for the proposals outlined by the governor and bipartisan allies. The legislation has passed its first committee and is currently waiting for a hearing in the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance Committee. (SF 3007)