ST. PAUL – Protecting and preserving our food supply was the top focus of comprehensive agriculture legislation approved by the Minnesota House of Representatives recently. The proposal was passed on a 72 to 54 vote.
“Last session we were able to make record investments in agriculture while addressing the avian flu crisis,” said State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), chairman of the Minnesota House Agriculture Finance Committee. “Today, we are able to continue our investment in animal health and disease prevention while prioritizing farm safety.”
Hamilton said the bill allows the carryover of leftover funds dedicated last session to the avian flu crisis, and allows it to be used to for future ag emergencies and animal diseases. Millions of dollars are also invested with the Department of Agriculture and University of Minnesota for lab equipment and software to better track and predict the spread of animal diseases.
Under the legislation a new farm safety program is also established, providing a 70 percent rebate for the order, shipping and installation of rollover protection systems on older tractors. Studies have shown that tractor rollovers are the number one cause of death on farms.
“The goal of this legislation is to be proactive rather than reactive in terms of overall agricultural safety, and I’m pleased we were able to approve this legislation on the House floor,” Hamilton concluded.