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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ginny Klevorn (DFL)

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Release: Governor Walz signs Rep. Ginny Klevorn’s agriculture legislation into law

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

St. Paul, Minn. –  Governor Tim Walz ceremonially signed the bipartisan agriculture bill on June 30th,  which provides drought relief, investments in broadband, and support for agricultural programs.

The legislation includes a bill Representative Ginny Klevorn (DFL-Plymouth) authored, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee. Rep. Klevorn’s bill invests additional funding for mental health outreach and support to farmers and others in the agricultural community, including a 24-hour hotline, stigma reduction, and educational offerings. 

“I’m grateful we could deliver bipartisan solutions for our farmers this year to help address these critical issues,” said Rep. Klevorn. “Mental health is still an extremely sensitive topic, loaded with stigma and there is still a great need for services in rural communities related to agricultural stress. Minnesota families deserve the resources to access help for mental and behavioral health concerns.”

The new law also includes legislation authored by Rep. Klevorn to continue funding for the Forever Green Initiative. This project protects the state's natural resources while increasing the efficiency, profitability, and productivity of Minnesota farmers by incorporating perennial and winter-annual crops into existing agricultural practices. You can learn more about the Forever Green Initiative here

Additional highlights of the bill include:

  • Over $200 million to support broadband development and the establishment of a pilot project to expand coverage to areas with low population density.
  • $18.4 million in drought relief including direct grants to farmers and relief through the Rural Finance Authority. 
  • $1.25 million for the creation of a new, innovative down payment assistance program targeted toward beginning farmers and $827,000 to support beginning farmers from underrepresented communities entering the field of agriculture.
  • $1.5 million for the Agricultural Emergency Account to support animal disease preparedness and response, and $1 million to the University of Minnesota to purchase veterinary diagnostic equipment to test for animal diseases.
  • $1.25 million for the Bioincentive Program to encourage commercial-scale production of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biomass thermal energy.