ST. PAUL, Minn. — Senator Mary Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton) joined President Joe Biden during his visit to a family farm near Northfield on Nov. 1. Along with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and other federal officials, they spoke with farmers and local leaders to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing farmers in Minnesota.
“I am always thrilled to share the amazing work that we, DFLers, have done for Minnesota farmers, agriculture and rural communities, and that’s exactly what President Biden and federal officials heard during this presidential visit,” said Senator Kunesh, a member of the Senate Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee. “Farming is central to Minnesota’s economy and way of life. From Indigenous farmers cultivating heritage crops and preserving seeds for the next generation, to Hmong family farms providing fresh produce at farmers’ markets, Minnesota farmers are as diverse as our state, and they are a valuable part of our communities and our economy. I was pleased to share the monumental support for farmers that the DFL secured in 2023 in the bipartisan agriculture budget bill. We invested in Minnesota’s crop farmers, dairy producers, and food processors, and we expanded supports for emerging farmers, farmers of color and Indigenous farmers, and young people interested in farming to make sure our agricultural economy is strong for years to come.”
One in five Minnesota jobs is related to agriculture or farming. The DFL passed landmark legislation in support of Minnesota’s farmers and rural communities in the 2023 session, including:
- $100 million to expand broadband access across Minnesota and help farmers modernize their businesses and stay competitive;
- Expansion of the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit through the year 2030 and reduction of property taxes on agricultural homestead property;
- $4 million to help small and mid-sized dairies access federal risk protection, manage increasing input costs, and weather market volatility via the Dairy Assistance, Investment, and Relief Initiative (DAIRI) program;
- Protections for heritage grains and use of wild rice in research;
- Expansion of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Emerging Farmers Office, which provides support to emerging farmers, and immigrant and BIPOC producers and business owners; and
- $10 million to create a new grain indemnity account in case of grain elevator failure.