ST. PAUL - An agriculture and veterans finance bill unanimously passed the House floor on Wednesday. The bill includes funding to support a livestock investment grant program authored by Rep. Dean Urdahl.
The Grove City Republican authored legislation to provide an additional $1 million in grant funds, allowing the livestock grant program he successfully authored in 2008 to continue. Urdahl’s program is very popular among farmers who are seeking to modernize their operations. The number of requests last year far outnumbered the money available as 38 of 576 applications were funded.
“This investment program will help sustain jobs in the farming industry at a time we need it most,” Urdahl said. “Agriculture is a major driver of our local economy, so the benefits of farmers investing to improve their operations are widespread.”
The full $250.5 million agriculture and veterans bill (H.F. 1122) included all of Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s appropriation recommendations. An earlier form of the bill did not include funding for the Minnesota G.I. Bill, but a conference committee restored the funding and the bill received bipartisan House support.
“It would have been nice if even more could have been done for our veterans,” Urdahl said. “But I commend the work done by the conference committee; maybe this is all we could do during these tough economic times.”
The legislation will go to Gov. Tim Pawlenty upon Senate approval.
Dean Urdahl represents District 18B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The district includes most of Meeker County and a portion of Wright County. This is Urdahl’s fourth term in the Legislature after being elected in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.