Senator Aric Putnam Leads Senate Passage of Bipartisan Agriculture Bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today, the Minnesota Senate passed SF 4942, the Agriculture, Commerce, Energy omnibus budget bill. The agriculture portion of the bill, authored by Agriculture, Broadband and Rural Development Committee Chair Senator Aric Putnam (DFL – St. Cloud), includes bipartisan legislation that invests in farmers and Greater Minnesota. 

“Today, we passed a great budget bill that will support Minnesotans across the state,” said Senator Putnam. “The Agriculture, Broadband and Rural Development Committee focused our work on finding bipartisan solutions for complex problems. We are addressing nitrate contamination in Minnesota’s karst region, closing the meat processing bottleneck, and making sure we prevent the spread of highly contagious avian influenza with highly effective and proven deterrents. The bill also makes it easier for Minnesota to award federal Digital Equity funding for broadband development in Greater Minnesota.”

Some highlights of the Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development portion of the bill include:

  • Addresses nitrate contamination in Southeast Minnesota’s groundwater by investing in reverse osmosis and private well upgrades to ensure that people in Minnesota’s karst region have access to safe drinking water.
  • Closes the meat processing bottleneck by providing grants to secondary career and technical education programs in order to offer instruction on cutting and butchery (SF 4069). 
  • Provides funding for producers to install highly effective deterrents to keep wild birds away from their flock to prevent the spread of the highly contagious High Path Avian Influenza (SF 4214).
  • Increases the funding and grant pool for the Farm to School program to ensure that Minnesota children regardless of their care setting can receive support to access fresh and locally sourced food (SF 3528).
  • Ensures that the Office of Broadband Development has the authority it needs to award federal Digital Equity funding made available in the Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA). 

The Agriculture, Commerce, and Energy budget bill passed the Senate floor on a 36-30 vote and awaits passage by the House.

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Aric Putnam represents Senate District 14, which covers the communities of St. Cloud, Waite Park, St. Augusta, Haven, and Minden Townships.

Learn more about Sen. Putnam.

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