Minnesota’s food, farming and ag-related interests are again working together this year to elevate voter and legislative candidate awareness about key agricultural issues and policies.
Known as A Greater Minnesota, the broad-based organization was originally launched in 2014. AGM is asking 2016 candidates for the Minnesota House and Senate to commit to a progressive state food production plan that AGM calls the "Grow MN Food Plan."
The Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and various other Minnesota farm and food entities support the AGM coalition.
The plan asks that legislative candidates commit to policies that support:
1. All farms — large and small, rural and urban, conventional and organic
2. More research for better food and improved farm practices
3. Smarter regulation to make Minnesota more competitive with other states
4. Economic, workforce and transportation policies to help rural Minnesota grow
5. Strategies to address issues of water quality
Minnesota farmers, agribusiness and food producers play an essential role in the state’s economy and are largely responsible for the high-quality food consumed on a daily basis, according to AGM. The market value of food and farm products sold in Minnesota each year is about $21.3 billion, according to the most recent USDA Census of Agriculture. Additionally, as the state’s second-largest economic sector, jobs provided by the farm and food sector employ hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.
“Our state’s farm and food sector faces real challenges from the political and policy arenas,” says David Preisler, executive director of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association. “To ensure the farm and food sector remains strong and is able to grow now and into the future, we need our legislators to support common sense policies that are outlined in the Grow MN Food Plan.”
As of early September, more than 50 state House and Senate candidates indicated their support for all of the Grow MN Food Plan policies if they are elected to office.
For more information, visit farmandfoodmn.org. The website also allows voters to find out how their legislative candidates responded to the GROW MN FOOD Plan and provides easy tools that they can use to contact their candidates. Candidate responses from all 134 House districts and 67 Senate districts are being posted to the AGM website.
Source: Minnesota AgriGrowth