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Gov. Walz Announces $10 Million in Drought Relief

Today, Governor Tim Walz announced a $10 million drought relief package to support Minnesota farmers and livestock producers impacted by severe drought conditions during the 2021 growing season.

“Historic drought conditions have created extreme stress and financial hardship for our farmers and livestock producers during an already difficult time for the agricultural industry,” said Governor Walz. “As governor, and as someone who grew up on a family farm, I stand with our farmers. This funding will provide much-needed relief to Minnesota’s agricultural community and help ensure our farmers can keep feeding Minnesota and the world.”

The Governor’s proposal includes $5 million in rapid response grants to provide drought relief for livestock producers and specialty crop producers. Examples of eligible costs include water handling equipment such as water tanks, pipeline, and water wagons, water hauling, wells, and irrigation equipment.

The funding proposal also includes $5 million for the Rural Finance Authority’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program. The Rural Finance Authority’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program makes zero-interest loans available immediately for Minnesota farmers whose operations are suffering from lack of rain. The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help cover lost revenue or expenses not covered by insurance.

More details on the drought relief package will be announced soon.

This summer, Governor Walz met with agricultural leaders across the state to hear how the drought has impacted them. Governor Walz also met with President Joe Biden and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask that all levels of government work together to address the impacts of this drought on Minnesota’s farmers.

Dry Bean Scene

During a stop at a Crookston farm, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz got a firsthand look at drought conditions in Polk County. The governor spoke with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack twice in the past week and said USDA understands the urgency of the situation. Area farmer Eric Samuelson, who serves as the Northarvest Bean Growers Association President, was in attendance and shared comments with Governor Walz.

Get the full story in the latest Dry Bean Scene made possible, in part, by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Walz Issues Emergency Executive Order

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has issued an emergency executive order to support farmers in the western part of the state. With this effort, the restrictions are lifted on drivers and carriers hauling propane and liquid fuels. The assistance is designed to alleviate the fuel shortage in the area. Walz said his team will continue to look into actions that can support the agricultural industry through these difficult conditions.

Walz Releases Budget Proposal

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s first budget calls for a simplified tax code for farmers that will conform to the Section 179 expensing in federal law. The proposal also cuts taxes by $220 million for state farmers and small businesses. Walz is also seeking a 20 cent gas tax increase to fund road and bridges. A border-to-border broadband program is also included in the Walz proposal.

With the announcement and next week’s economic forecast for the state, the Minnesota Legislature will begin working on budget bills for the biennium.

(Source: Red River Farm Network)