RELEASE: Legislation Protecting Farmers Clears First Committee Hurdle in Minnesota House

ST. PAUL, MN – This week, two bills aimed at supporting the agriculture industry, as it faces increased regulation by the Dayton administration, were approved by the Minnesota House Agriculture Policy Committee. Both pieces of legislation are authored by Representative Jeff Backer (R-Browns Valley).

“Governor Dayton and his administration have proven time and again that they are no friends of farmers and the agriculture industry with their seemingly constant pursuit of unnecessary and burdensome regulations,” said Rep. Backer. “Rural Minnesotans understand the crucial role agriculture plays not only in the economic vitality of our region, but also its cultural importance. The industry at large is already facing financial challenges with low commodity prices and the rising costs of inputs. These regulations only serve to make farmers’ jobs more difficult, when many are already struggling.”

House File 3441 prevents the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) from enforcing excessively punitive “fugitive dust emission rules” on temporary grain storage bins at commodity facilities, which are used to hold excess grain during the peak of harvest season.

House File 2887 prevents the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) from adopting mandatory rules, or “water resource protection requirements,” for nitrogen fertilizer unless the proposed requirements are specifically ratified, by law, by the House and Senate.

“I look forward to continuing my work with farmers and other stakeholder to ensure that farming remains strong and prosperous in Minnesota,” said Backer.