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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, January 6, 2023

Dear Neighbor,

The Legislature returned to the Capitol this week to install the 93rd Legislature and commence the 2023 session. It is good to be back in St. Paul and, as always, a number of significant challenges await legislative action.

I continue to be quite engaged with constituents in our district and responsive to the needs of the people I represent, whether it’s working to address local issues or advocating for our best interests on statewide matters. I look forward to taking on the challenges the new session brings, especially as we make decisions regarding our state’s $17.6 billion surplus and the significant tax relief that should come with it.

We’ll take a closer look at that and other important subjects in forthcoming emails but, for now, here are a couple other items I would like to share:

Follow the House online

Here are some links to online resources the Minnesota House of Representatives provides to help people stay in the loop on the latest developments at the Capitol:

First-time farm purchase grants

Applications are now being accepted for a new grant program to support Minnesotans purchasing their first farm. The Down Payment Assistance Grant Program is managed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and it offers dollar-for-dollar matching up to $15,000 for qualified small farmers to purchase farmland.

The cost of starting up a farm can be prohibitive, and this is one more tool people considering getting into the industry have available to them. Agriculture plays a significant role in our economy and the health of Greater Minnesota in general. I hope people who are interested in starting up a farm give this program a look.

The MDA’s Rural Finance Authority is awarding this funding using a first-come, first-served application process and expects to award between 30 and 40 grants in this cycle, depending on the size of requests. A second cycle of $750,000 in funding has been secured and will be made available on July 1.

Farmers must be Minnesota residents who will earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales and plan on providing the majority of the day-to-day physical labor on the farm for at least five years. Applicants must not have previous direct or indirect farmland ownership.

The application and more information on the grant program can be found at this link.

Until next time, have a good weekend and please let me know how I can help.