This past Wednesday I was part of an Ag forum in New Prague to talk about Agriculture issues affecting District 25. Independent candidate John Grimm and Republican candidate Al DeKruif were also present at the forum sponsored by LeSueur County Farm Bureau, Pork Producers, Corn and Soybean Producers, and the Dairy Industry.
I am proud of the work I have done for district 25 and greater Minnesota. The Eminent Domain bill I authored in the Senate and eventually signed into law puts landowners and farmers on a much fairer playing field when dealing with the public utilities such as the CapX2020 project and the pipelines a few years ago. It was a bipartisan effort that involved a lot of local citizens who have been directly affected by the Public Utility exemption in the past.
I was the chief author of the bonding bill that sent $5 million dollars to the Minnesota Prairie Line railroad, a short line rail that is vital to the ag industry on the western side of my district.
On a broader scale, I believe agriculture policies must be enacted to allow farmers to receive a fair price through open markets. We need to create incentives and programs that encourage young people to become farmers. It is critical to maintain Minnesota’s family farm system of agriculture. Minnesota must be proactive in meeting the growing consumer demand for food that is family farm raised, locally grown, and identity preserved. We need to promote farming that benefits the environment. And finally, we need strong local communities that depend on strong local control. We should protect rural democracy. Local governments must maintain the right to put in place and enforce local planning and zoning ordinances.