MSGA: Walz leading on biofuels

January 20, 2023 / Categories: Uncategorized

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan have announced a series of proposals to invest in Minnesota’s economic future. The second of four packages within their One Minnesota Budget, this $4.1 billion proposal would provide paid family and medical leave for Minnesota’s workers, bolster support for small businesses and expand Minnesota’s workforce in the most critical sectors.

The One Minnesota Budget includes climate proposals which expand Minnesota’s clean energy economy and reduce climate impacts for future generations. The governor’s agriculture budget, which is over $100 million, will support local farmers and producers grow their businesses while expanding the state’s biofuels infrastructure, building soil heath, and supporting new and emerging farmers. The announcement follows the roll out of the One Minnesota Budget package focused on children and families. 

“I’m committed to making sure Minnesota remains competitive in a global economy. From our nation-leading agriculture industries to Minnesota-based companies paving the way for a clean energy economy, Minnesota has one of the most diverse and most resilient economies in the country,” said Gov. Walz. “This budget invests in the people and businesses that made our economy strong in the first place, and it protects the natural resources that Minnesotans cherish most. By attracting and building a workforce that makes Minnesota a destination state for teachers, nurses, entrepreneurs, farmers, small business owners and skilled workers, we are building an economy that will remain strong for generations to come.” 

Support Farmers and Livestock Producers 

The One Minnesota Budget supports local farmers and producers and increases the sales of Minnesota-raised livestock produce by providing grants to help meat, poultry, egg, and milk processors start up, modernize, or expand their businesses. To promote locally raised and processed meat and poultry, Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan also recommend expanding the Minnesota Grown program – a program designed to promote products that were grown or raised on Minnesota farms. The One Minnesota Budget also continues the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) program which provides financial assistance for activities that advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy industries. Gov. Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan propose additional funds to the AGRI Biofuels Infrastructure Investment Grant program to promote the continued sale and use of higher ethanol blend biofuels and give drivers more affordable options at the gas pump. Farmers and producers have weathered many agricultural emergencies in the last few years. The One Minnesota Budget will replenish the Agricultural Emergency Account which allows a rapid response to agricultural emergencies including drought, flooding, HPAI, and other animal disease outbreaks. To help new and emerging farmers get their footing, The budget provides a grant program specifically for new and emerging farmers to help them increase market access and sales. Finally, Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan propose investing in the health and safety of farmers through farm safety outreach, equipment upgrades, mental health outreach, and other support services. 

 “MSGA applauds Gov. Walz on his continued leadership on biofuels,” Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “This investment in infrastructure ensures biofuels will continue to be at the forefront of the state’s discussion on reducing carbon, which the biodiesel mandate is already doing today.”

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