Summer has ended, and fall has arrived. I’m hopeful you’ve been able to get out and enjoy the nice weather lately. Before you know it, we’ll have snow on the ground again.
The legislative session ended a few months ago, but talks have continued regarding a special session. One of the topics centers on distributing “Hero Pay” funding for frontline workers.
Both legislative bodies have been in discussions over this. At issue is how to provide meaningful bonus checks to the frontline workers who were most at risk, such as nurses, long-term care/nursing home workers, PCAs/home health workers, and law enforcement. To date, an agreement has not been reached, and the governor is hesitant to call a special session until all sides agree.
Another potential special session topic is drought relief. According to a recent Drought Monitor update, 63 percent of the state’s croplands are in “very poor to poor condition.” Many of our local farmers would be forced to agree, as the lack of rainfall in some areas has had a devastating impact on our corn and soybeans this year.
Many lawmakers, myself included, would like to approve a drought relief plan if we are called into special session. But that is a decision only the governor can make, and no one can predict the future.
In the meantime, I wanted to pass along some resources that may be of interest to those farmers who are struggling. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a “Drought Response and Resources” page visible when you visit its website (mda.state.mn.us). Here, you will find details on Minnesota’s current assistance programs, including zero-interest loans that are available to farmers whose operations are suffering due to extreme drought conditions. Visit www.mda.state.mn.us/disasterloan for more information.
Federal resources are also available. The USDA’s Disaster Assistance for Drought Recovery is in place to help those who have faced feed losses and livestock deaths due to national disasters. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program is also in place to assist livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to the drought this year. To learn more about these federal programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index.
Though the legislature is no in session, I am always available to answer any questions you may have. Please reach out any time by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-296-5368.