Minnesota Senate passes relief package targeting farmers impacted by drought and avian flu
The Minnesota Senate has passed a $10 million relief package to help farmers impacted by drought and avian flu.
The legislation now moves to conference committee where legislators from both chambers will work toward an agreement.
House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Sundin, a Democrat from Esko, tells Brownfield he’d like to get the process wrapped up as soon as possible.
“I’ve been a champion on that for three weeks now (so) let’s get this thing done. Now might be our opportunity to get it across the line.”
The Senate version provides $7 million in drought assistance to livestock farmers and specialty crop growers and $1.5 million is appropriated to the Rural Finance Authority for disaster recovery loans.
The bill would also allocate $1 million to the University of Minnesota to purchase avian flu testing equipment, and transfer $500,000 to the ag emergency account for additional testing supplies.
Minnesota Farmers Union president Gary Wertish says the additional funding for avian influenza response is appreciated as poultry producers grapple with this emerging threat.