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RELEASE: Minnesota House advances Agriculture policy legislation

Monday, May 17, 2021

SAINT PAUL, Minn. –Monday, the Minnesota House approved a bipartisan agreement reached with the Senate on Agriculture policy legislation. The bill reflects a consensus reached over the weekend by a joint House/Senate conference committee on numerous proposals.

“This legislation includes several bipartisan measures that will strengthen the outlook for agriculture in Minnesota, but lawmakers still have more work to do to get a final budget across the finish line,” said Rep. Mike Sundin (DFL – Esko), Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. “Now that we have budget targets, we have a path forward to reach a compromise on our Agriculture finance bill. Farmers and others who work in food production are critically important to our state’s success, and we will keep working to ensure they can have the bright future they deserve.”

The legislation contains provisions such as:

  • A five-year extension to the Farmer Lender Mediation program to 2027.
  • An exemption to pesticide applicator licenses for workers using sanitizers and disinfectants associated with COVID-19, limited to cleaning activity that uses common sanitizers and disinfectants.
  • License exemption for certain wild game meat processors that process fewer than 200 deer carcasses in a year or less than $20,000 of gross receipts from processing other wildlife.
  • Modifications to the disposal of deer in Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management areas to ensure they would be disposed of safely and according to Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hunting rule restrictions. 
  • An additional member to the Board of Animal Health who is a livestock producer and a member of a federally recognized tribe in Minnesota.
  • Removal of the annual sales limit for the cottage foods license allowing the sale of cottage food pet treats.
  • Eligibility changes for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Good Food Access Program.
  • Allowing EMTs to provide limited medical care to injured police dogs.

Video of Monday’s House Floor session will be available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel.

Lawmakers will continue working to reach a compromise on budget legislation in anticipation of a June special session.