AgriGrowth and State Advocacy

We serve as a convener, advocate and thought leader by creating common ground solutions that move the food and agriculture industry forward.

State Public Policy Priorities 2022

AgriGrowth’s mission is to advocate for a positive business climate for Minnesota’s food and agriculture sector. During each legislative session and throughout the year, AgriGrowth actively represents the interests of our members with the Minnesota Legislature, Governor’s office, and state agency officials.

The 2022 public policy priorities are based on AgriGrowth’s assessment of member interests, informed by discussions during regional meetings around Minnesota as well as other member engagement. AgriGrowth’s priorities are focused on creating common ground solutions that move the food and agriculture industry forward. The priority list does not reflect the entire scope of AgriGrowth’s activities during the legislative session.

 

The Minnesota AgriGrowth Council Supports:

      ·         Strengthening  Communities

      ·         Talent and  Workforce Availability and Retention

      ·         Sustainability,  Energy and Regulatory Certainty

      ·         A Favorable Tax  Climate

      ·         Investments in  Agriculture

      ·         Reliable  Infrastructure and Access to Technology

Strengthening Communities 

It is essential that Minnesota maintain its position as a premier agriculture and food production state. We must confront, challenge, and develop solutions that support and strengthen all communities. Access to reliable broadband, childcare, affordable health care, affordable housing, and workforce development and retention are issues that impact all Minnesotans. It is also key that curriculum in K-12 schools prepare students for the workforce and emphasize agricultural career opportunities.

AgriGrowth supports legislative and agency efforts that create positive outcomes in these critical areas to ensure communities across the state are strong and resilient places to live, work, and raise a family.

Talent and Workforce Availability and Retention

Minnesota’s agri-food sector continues to experience a serious labor shortage with many employers struggling to find the next generation of talent. Farmers compete against other states and industries for part-time, full-time, and seasonal employees. Agribusiness struggles to not only find talent but retain employees.

AgriGrowth supports promoting college, vocational, and technical education for students. This includes initiatives promoting public-private partnerships that collaborate with higher education institutions, community colleges, and high schools. This will better prepare students for careers in food production and agriculture such as farm business management, food science, management information systems, and ag processing and manufacturing.

Sustainability, Energy and Regulatory Certainty

Certainty is an important component of any discussion on sustainability, energy, and environmental and regulatory issues. Sustainability is integral to farmers’ and agribusiness. Agriculture is positively addressing climate change and continuing to protect the environment, natural resources, and clean water through adoption of best management practices that reduce emissions, sequester carbon, and improve profitability. A consistent regulatory environment allows farmers’ the ability to grow during challenging economic times while continuing to protect the environment for the future.

AgriGrowth supports innovative, collaborative, incentive-based partnerships to enhance water quality and sustainability and create new revenue sources for farmers and agribusiness. It is imperative measurements, metrics, and proposed solutions are based on sound science. AgriGrowth also supports increasing these dedicated funds toward local, farmer-engaged efforts that will help accelerate the development and adoption of nutrient management plans and conservation practices.

AgriGrowth supports an “all of the above” approach to state energy policy that include soil, natural gas, renewable fuels, and other energy sources. In striving to transition to more carbon neutral energy sources policymakers need to be mindful of the economic costs to farmers, agribusiness, and consumers that could put Minnesota at a competitive disadvantage.

To continue to attract investments to Minnesota, it is important that the state’s regulatory permitting process allow farmers and agribusiness to remain globally competitive and not put Minnesota at a disadvantage with neighboring states due to a burdensome and lengthy process. AgriGrowth supports state agency efforts that increase certainty in permitting timelines and reduce costs to agribusiness and farmers.

A Favorable Tax Climate

From supply of inputs, to increased costs, to delays in essential products and equipment, Minnesota’s agri-food sector continues to be significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping Minnesota farmers and agribusiness competitive in a global market is a top priority. AgriGrowth supports a tax environment that provides economic certainty and a favorable tax climate that ensures our industries remain competitive with neighboring states.

Investments in Agriculture

Minnesota’s agribusinesses and farmers contribute 25 percent of the state’s gross domestic product yet benefit from only 0.4 percent of the state’s more than $50 billion biennial budget. AgriGrowth supports the Legislature increasing agriculture appropriations in the supplemental budget. Additional investments in the state agriculture budget would ensure support for our farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness to remain successful and viable in a challenging marketplace

Reliable Infrastructure and Access to Technology

Minnesota farmers and food producers rely on an extensive transportation system and access to technology to grow and safely transport food, fiber, and fuels to sustain an increasing population. Rural areas rely on road, bridge, and rail infrastructure to bring products to market and do not experience the traffic congestion that the metro area does.

In addition to transportation infrastructure, farmers and food producers also rely on access to technology infrastructure like broadband to utilize tools and equipment that enhance productivity and protect the environment.

AgriGrowth supports critical infrastructure projects that benefit all Minnesotans. This includes funding for rural road and bridge projects, port development assistance, rural water treatment facilities, the Rural Finance Authority, statewide flood hazard mitigation, affordable rural housing, and other critical infrastructure projects.

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