Walz demonstrated deep understanding of Minnesota agriculture during the forum, winning praise from Minnesota farmers for both his performance and accomplishments
MORGAN, MN – Today, Governor Tim Walz attended his 17th Farmfest and participated in the gubernatorial candidate forum. Walz delivered a commanding performance that highlighted his long record of delivering for Minnesota’s farmers and proved that he is always fighting for Minnesota’s agricultural community.
After the forum concluded, the Walz campaign released testimonials from Minnesota farmers praising Walz’s performance and his record on farming and agricultural issues.
“When drought devastated Minnesota farmers, Governor Walz stepped up and made sure that we had the relief we needed to survive,” said Tim Velde, a corn and soybean farmer from Yellow Medicine County. “The Governor’s decades of leadership fighting for farmers was reflected in his commanding performance at today’s forum. From supporting biofuels to tax relief for family farmers, Governor Walz is the leader we can count on to be in our corner.”
“When the pandemic struck, I was concerned that our milk would not get picked up from our farm. When I reached out to the Walz administration I got a response in 15 minutes informing me that farm trucks were considered critical, and nothing would be stopped. In Minnesota, no milk had to be dumped,” said Eunice Biel, a Minnesota dairy farmer. “The Walz administration has also worked closely with ethanol plants to utilize CO2 necessary for large refrigeration units in food processing plants in the Midwest. We can count on Governor Walz to fight for farmers because he always has and always will.”
“Governor Walz has supported family farmers through both good times and tough times. His long record on farm policy has helped Minnesota farmers feed the world and pioneer key innovations in agriculture,” said Anne Schwagerl, co-owner of Prairie Point Farm. “Having a dependable leader like Governor Walz has been invaluable, and his performance today underscores how he has delivered for us.”
Walz’s record of accomplishments for Minnesota farmers includes:
Increasing Minnesota’s Agricultural Trade Exports
Despite the challenges of the last several years, Minnesota’s agricultural exports have increased by over 15% under Governor Walz’s watch. He signed into law the largest bonding bill in state history to make sure we have the infrastructure in place to transport our products to trading partners, and has traveled with agricultural leaders to Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Finland to help Minnesota producers increase their exports.
Investing in Minnesota’s Farmers and Industries
Gov. Walz’s budget reduced property taxes for farmers and he signed a law that’s expected to bring nearly $200 million in tax savings to Minnesota farmers.
Minnesota’s agricultural economy benefits when everyone gets a fair shot in farming. Governor Walz is making that possible by creating an Emerging Farmers Office to help entrepreneurs grow crops to feed families and their communities. In 2019, Tim toured the first farm to grow industrial hemp in Minnesota since the 1950s in an effort to raise awareness about the industry and learn more about how the state can help it grow.
The 2019 budget funded the Agriculture Innovations Campus in Crookston that included a $5 million soybean crush plant to add value to oilseed commodities. The campus will also have oil refining and classrooms and space for private industries.
Assisting Farmers through Extreme Weather and Economic Hardship
Governor Walz has stood with farmers during numerous extreme weather crises. During multiple heavy snowfalls in 2019, Tim worked with the legislature to secure interest-free loans for Minnesota farmers and mobilized the National Guard to provide emergency aid to farmers whose dairy barns had collapsed.
During the 2021 drought, he urged the Biden/Harris Administration to allow grazing on CRP land and successfully pushed the USDA to approve emergency relief for cattle farmers. He waived trucking regulations to ensure farmers could feed their animals and secured a $18.4 million emergency aid package to provide grants and loans to recoup revenue losses brought on by the drought.
Ensuring Minnesota is Prepared to Manage Avian Flu
When the HPAI hit Minnesota turkey farms this spring, the state was prepared. Minnesota started ramping up its preparations once the disease started showing up in other states, so when the first cases were identified here in late March, we were ready, including emergency operations centers and case managers to work with each individual farm. Governor Walz signed into law a $1 million emergency avian flu response bill in April to help our farmers deal with the avian flu crisis.
Expanding the Biofuel Industry
Governor Walz has been a long-time supporter of biofuels, an industry that not only provides good-paying jobs but also contributes $1.5 billion yearly to the state’s economy and aids in reducing harmful greenhouse gasses.
He serves as the chairman of the National Governors’ Biofuels Coalition and created a Biofuels Council to advise him and his cabinet on how to expand the use of biofuels and reduce the state’s carbon footprint. His latest budget invested over $100 million in developing renewable energy sources.
Governor Walz successfully pushed the Biden Administration for a summer E15 waiver to help combat rising gas prices, and is leading a bipartisan group of Midwest governors in a push for permanent year-round E15. He signed into law an infrastructure package that will add E15 to over 125 gas stations statewide.