SAINT PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House of Representatives approved Saturday HF1545, the Agriculture Finance Conference Committee report, on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 124-5.
This bill contains language written in partnership with the Dayton administration, and represents a “meet in the middle” compromise.
“We have worked very closely with the administration on a proposal that prioritizes agriculture and rural development needs across the state, and I'm confident we have a bill that Governor Dayton will sign," said House Agriculture Finance Chair Rod Hamilton (R- Mountain Lake).
The agreement combines a number of spending and policy provisions aimed at supporting the Agriculture industry, and includes language from the previously-passed Agriculture Policy Omnibus bill. The bill includes investments in the following Ag issue areas:
•Ag emergencies, such as Avian Flu, and noxious weeds like Palmer amarath.
•Rapid response to plant pests and pathogens.
•Growing and diversifying our agro-economy, in areas like industrial hemp and biofuel.
•Continued support for production agriculture research, farm safety, tractor rollover prevention, Ag Education, and youth development.
•Creating a dedicated Pollinator Habitat and Research account.
•Creates a Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention pilot program to invest in non-lethal means of preventing wolf attacks on livestock.
Special focus in this bill is given to plant agriculture, emerging noxious weed threats (specifically palmer amaranth), and investment in the future of agricultural practices and technologies. The bill is expected to be passed by the Senate in the coming days and sent to the Governor.