The 93rd session of the Minnesota legislature adjourned on Monday, May 22, 2023. Throughout the session, Minnesota Farm Bureau (MFBF) worked closely with elected officials, agency representatives and the governor’s office to ensure the vitality of agriculture and rural communities across the state.

“Despite a long and sometimes tumultuous session, we are proud of what we accomplished in support of the grassroots policy set by our members,” said MFBF President Dan Glessing. “Although we did not achieve everything we set out to accomplish our members' voices were heard and we continued to build on our foundation of working with both sides of the aisle.”

We want to thank legislators, especially Senate Agriculture Chair Aric Putnam and House Agriculture Chair Samantha Vang, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and Governor Tim Walz for their support.”

Over the past four months, MFBF had a presence at the capitol every day, in addition to providing over 60 written and verbal testimonies. Our members also showcased the impact of agriculture on the state economy during our Day on the Hill, with over 130 members meeting with their elected officials. Members also shared their stories back home in their districts, including inviting legislative members to hosted events and farm tours.

“The grassroots approach of Minnesota Farm Bureau is unique, and I enjoyed working with our leaders and members to bring a face to proposed legislation that directly impacts them," said Public Policy Specialist Kaytlin Bemis. “Members' voices must be heard, and we hope legislators received those messages.”  

Highlights from the session relating to MFBF 2023 priority issues set by the Board of Directors with guidance from membership include:

Beginning and Emerging Farmers

MFBF advocated for programming to help the next generation and those interested in entering agriculture:

  • Beginning Farmer Tax Credit
  • Farm Down Payment Assistance Grants
  • Agricultural Growth Research and Innovation grants
  • Farm Advocate Services

Clean Energy and Sustainability

MFBF helped lead the way in support of climate-smart practices that improve the state’s environment through voluntary stewardship, in addition to further development of alternative energy sources:

  • Soil Health Grants through MDA
  • Soil Health Grants through BWSR
  • Biofuels Infrastructure

Healthcare Accessibility

MFBF has long prioritized the affordability and accessibility to healthcare and health insurance, including mental health resources, and emphasized the following issues during session:

  • Farm Safety Health and Wellness Grants
  • Mental Health Outreach and Counseling

Research and Investment

MFBF worked to drive the vitality of agriculture in Minnesota by supporting priorities that advance its future through research, education and innovation: 

  • $48M above base funding for advancements in agriculture allocated
  • Agriculture Emergency Account 
  • Meat Processing
  • Wolf/Livestock Prevention Grants
  • Farm Business Management through AGREETT
  • International Trade Support
  • Agriculture Utilization Research Institute facilities

Rural Connectivity

MFBF understands access to reliable and affordable broadband is a key component of a strong rural community, yet much of the state does not have this access. Its advocacy work helped lead to the following investments:

  • $100M for statewide broadband coverage
  • Border-to-Border Broadband grants
  • Low Density Broadband Program

Rural Vitality

MFBF acted on issues that strengthen and support communities and economic development for all Minnesotans:

  • Grain Indemnity Fund
  • Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council funding
  • Rural Finance Authority
  • Greater Minnesota Housing Infrastructure Grants
  • Workforce Development Grants through Minnesota State Colleges and Universities