ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators (MAAE) honored Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin) with two awards recently for his successful efforts during the last legislative session to secure $13 million for agriculture research and education.
Sparks, who chairs the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, was given the MAAE Bell Ringer Award which is given out every few years to a legislator who has shown extraordinary support and dedication to promoting ag research. He was also given an Honorary American Future Farmers of America (FFA) Degree for showing exceptional service to agriculture, agriculture education and the FFA.
“I’m really honored to receive not one, but two awards from the hard-working MAAE organization. I try to always take the time to work with University of Minnesota agriculture students and various FFA groups. Agriculture research and education is absolutely vital to Minnesota’s economy, and I make sure the state senate never loses site of that,” said Sparks.
Sparks worked tirelessly over the last session to ensure the passage of the Agriculture Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer Grant Program. The money will be used at the University of Minnesota and MnSCU campuses to expand grants for research, agriculture rapid response for plant and animal diseases, agriculture education programs and farm business management.