At Farmfest, Walz will highlight his long record of delivering for Minnesota’s farmers
MORGAN, MN – Today, Governor Tim Walz will attend his 17th Farmfest and participate in the Farmfest gubernatorial forum. Walz will highlight his long record of delivering for Minnesota farmers and our state’s agricultural community.
“Governor Walz is looking forward to a thoughtful conversation about how Minnesota can best support farmers and agriculture. Since being elected to Congress in 2006, Governor Walz has consistently proven his strong commitment to Minnesota’s agricultural industry,” said Walz campaign manager Nichole Johnson. “His deep understanding of the issues impacting farmers will be on display at today’s forum. Minnesota’s farmers feed the world, and Governor Walz will always fight for them.”
Since his time serving on the Agricultural Committee in Congress, Walz has consistently shown up for farmers. At today’s debate, he will outline his record of getting things done for our farmers, including:
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.