Greetings to all and a special welcome to school teachers who are new to our district. I hope the school year is off to a good start for you and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
There are a couple of items I would like to pass along that fall in the public service announcement category.
First, I encourage local high school juniors to apply to participate in the page program at the Capitol. This is a great opportunity for students to gain gaining hands-on experience with Minnesota’s state government and get a behind-the-scenes look at how things function.
High school pages I talk with really seem to enjoy this experience. They attend meetings with legislators, assist members during the session, participate in mock committee sessions and more. There are seven four-day sessions available in 2016, stretching from mid-March until mid-May.
Program participants are selected in the fall of each year based on a formal process which includes an application, faculty recommendation and an essay. Stipends are available to defray expenses. More information is available by clicking here or by calling (651) 296-7452. Local schools also can provide further guidance.
There is a Dec. 4 deadline to apply to the page program.
On another note, local livestock producers are urged to apply for livestock investment grants available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Grants are available to Minnesota livestock farmers for expenses incurred between Aug. 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017. Producers can be reimbursed 10 percent of the first 500,000 of investment in their operation, with a minimum $4,000 investment. This applies to expenses related to the purchase, construction or improvement of livestock buildings or facilities, the purchase of fencing, as well as feeding or waste management equipment. You also may apply if you suffered a loss due to natural disasters or unintended consequences.
Good luck with both of these programs and I will be back with more news soon. I am planning another round of college visits as chairman of the House Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee and will share more about that in the near future.