Minneapolis

Gov. Walz announces $10M farm relief plan, but aid could get held up in political deadlock

2021-09-24 17:13:23 –

Minnesota farmers looking at financial losses from one of the driest seasons of decades were able to get a grant or loan through a $ 10 million agricultural aid proposal presented on Friday. ..

However, the timing of the bailout dollar is related to an unrelated political confrontation at the State Capitol.

Waltz said he had heard from families who sold herds of livestock during the summer drought: “We need to keep people on land so that these producers stay here. Need to be. ” “I think this is a work that helps fill the gap.”

Governor DFL said he hoped the legislature could pass the plan, along with support for front-line workers in the pandemic, during a special legislative session in early October. However, Waltz, the only person who can summon a special session, will take Congressmen to the Houses of Parliament and pass these proposals unless Senate Republicans vow not to dismiss Secretary of Health Jan Malcolm. I decided not to do it.

Republicans, some of them Did not agree with Walz and Malcolm’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccine Mask, they said Wouldn’t make such a bargain..

Waltz explained the details of the rescue plan after investigating dried corn and soybean stalks on a farm at Gene Small Ridge in Hastings on Friday. He said the state is in a strong financial position, devoting an additional $ 10 million to help farmers.

NS The effects of the drought were unevenProducers in some parts of the state are considering significant losses or have closed their businesses while others are spared.

Many farmers have crop insurance through the USDA or have other federal assistance to survive difficult times, but state officials have emphasized that federal programs are inadequate.

Waltz said that livestock producers and those with special crops are among those left behind by federal aid.

“There is no safety net for people like me,” said Cathy Zeman, director of the Minnesota Farmers Market Association, which operates a certified organic livestock business. “The little silver in this state is a billion-dollar industry that no one knows we need to raise. This is what this is doing. It’s OK-I’m not going to perfect you. -That helps, but it recognizes your value. “”

The Waltz administration’s plan requires a $ 5 million grant, which allows the first application to be made to livestock and specialty crop farmers. Dollars can be used to cover the needs of water tanks, irrigation equipment, wells, etc. An additional $ 5 million will be distributed as interest-free loans through the Local Finance Department’s disaster recovery loan program to cover lost income due to lack of rain or expenses not covered by insurance.

The state is considering offering 500 to 1,500 grants, depending on the amount people apply for, with grants up to $ 5,000, said Tom Petersen, a member of the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The good thing about this is that it’s scalable,” says Petersen. “If the legislator wants to help more peasants, we can go higher. If they want to help a little, we can go less.”

The future direction of the special session is uncertain, but both Republicans and Democrats have expressed their desire to support farmers on Friday.

Agricultural economic success is important to the rest of Minnesota, DFL-Brooklyn Park Speaker of the House Melissa Hortmann said in a statement after Waltz’s announcement.

“House DFLer will work with Governor Waltz and Senate Republicans to put together a package to help members of the agricultural community affected by this historic drought,” said Hortman.

Petersen contacted Congress to put together a bailout package, said Jeremy Miller, leader of the Republican Senate majority in Winona. Senator Torrey Westrom of R-Elbow Lake also said he was working on a possible farm bailout, including a quick response grant and a property tax refund. Westrom, chairman of the Senate Agricultural Commission, emphasized that livestock farmers are in a particularly difficult situation due to lack of crop insurance and lack of feed for livestock.

“For the time being, their property tax invoices, along with other fixed costs, will expire this fall,” Westrom said in a statement. “Therefore, a one-time assistance package helps to show our appreciation for the important role that the agricultural community plays in the state.”

Jesse Van Barkel • 651-925-5044

Gov. Walz announces $10M farm relief plan, but aid could get held up in political deadlock Source link Gov. Walz announces $10M farm relief plan, but aid could get held up in political deadlock

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