The Lueck family sends you and yours our wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Please join Linda and me in counting the many blessings we enjoy in this great nation as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
It looks like the forecast is for snowy, bitter cold weather. Please plan accordingly. Make sure your car is equipped with a winter kit, pace yourself if shoveling snow and be alert for those that might need assistance as we approach our first real hard winter weather.
On that note, also be aware that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently established a Farm and Rural Helpline. The purpose is to provide a one-stop-shop helpline to provide referrals for mental health services, financial counseling, legal help and other resources to assist farmers who are facing the financial and emotional stresses.
The helpline is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling toll-free (833) 600-2670. Click here for a news release from the MDA on this program.
This week I participated in a bipartisan meeting of Northern Minnesota legislators at Mountain Iron to discuss a pending rule change to an old sulfate discharge standard that has never been enforced. The rule change that would impose huge potential new costs on at least 46 rural municipal waste water treatment plants in our part of Minnesota and likely have no impact on actually protecting or improving our current natural wild rice beds.
The proposed change has went through a series of public hearings and is currently under review by the Administrative Law Judge that conducted the hearings.
There was full agreement by our group that we must protect our natural wild rice beds. They are a Minnesota treasure, highly valued by both our native and non-native communities. The group will continue to work to find a common sense solution that focuses on preserving and enriching our natural wild rice beds. The current rule and proposed replacement does neither.
As we turn our attention to celebrating the holidays, unless something major arises, I will be signing off with further email updates until after the first of year.
Until then, please stay warm and enjoy the company of friends and family during this holiday season.