Minnesota Farmers Union sees positive action on legislative initiatives
Leaders of the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) were pleased with many of the outcomes of the recently concluded legislative session.
"MFU thanks the Legislature and Governor Dayton for passing a strong agriculture budget," said Doug Peterson President of the Minnesota Farmers Union. "MFU is also pleased that the Farmer-Lender Mediation Act was extended for an additional three years, allowing time for farmers and lenders to find solutions when financial stresses hit rural Minnesota."
Key legislative actions:
--$20 million in the AGRI-fund, which can be used for livestock, NextGen energy grants, and farm to school programs.
--$2 million for educational and cultural programs at fairs.
--The current wolf hunting and trapping season was not eliminated, however, MFU was disappointed wolf depredation funding was decreased.
--Buy the Farm legislation passed which provides landowners facing the threat of high voltage power lines more rights regarding attorney's fees, appraisals, relocation and a reasonable time frame.
--Farmer-Lender Mediation Act was extended for an additional three years.
--Authorizing language and funding of the new voluntary Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program.
--Language that clarifies estate tax by saying agriculture land held by farm trusts and other business entities will qualify for the extra $4 million exception from the state estate tax.