Network of farm and food systems organizations calls for continued support of food system resilience in Minnesota
IATP is an organizing member of the MinneAg Network. Learn more about the new Minnesota network here.
The MinneAg Network commends Governor Tim Walz on elements of the proposed Minnesota Department of Agriculture budget that will increase investment in our farm and food system, including regional food and agriculture systems planning grants, soil health, meat processing, Farmers’ Markets, perennial crops and strong support for emerging farmers. Today, the MinneAg Network will present its legislative priorities to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development and House Agriculture Finance and Policy committees and encourage legislators to continue to invest in resilient and equitable food systems across the state.
The MinneAg Network is made up of community-rooted farm and food systems organizations with a mission to convene leaders statewide and champion policy solutions that protect communities, farmers and climate. Formally joining together for the first time, the members of the network have a long history of collaboration and as experienced stakeholders, have worked and advocated on Minnesota agriculture and farm issues for decades.
2022 has the potential to be a transformative year for farm and food systems in Minnesota. During the last two harvest seasons, pandemic upheaval and major weather events exposed the fragility of supply chains. Addressing these challenges requires structural change in our agricultural policy, and financing and investment landscape. Amid a promising state budget, pandemic relief, climate change, federal infrastructure investments and a year of elections, it’s critical that MinneAg Network partners, with years of on-the-ground experience and knowledge, have a voice in the decision-making processes that will impact them.
In its nonpartisan policy priorities presented today, the network expressed support for the following initiatives and investments for the 2022 Minnesota Legislative session:
• Increase financial and capacity investments in infrastructure, small and midsize processing and market development state-wide;
• Enable land access and farm viability for emerging farmers;
• Leverage Minnesota agriculture to create positive climate and ecosystem impacts;
• Link nutrition and food access needs to Minnesota agricultural production capabilities.
“We are heartened to see that the Governor listened to feedback from community members and included many of our priorities areas in this proposed budget. We are hopeful that our state legislators can promote these essential investments in similar ways to help build resilience in our Minnesota food system for growers and eaters alike,” said MinneAg Network member Fallon Ryan of Sprout MN, a Food Hub based in Little Falls.
The MinneAg Network calls on lawmakers to support its platform and implement policy during the 2022 session that protects communities, farmers and our climate, thereby fostering economic resiliency for all Minnesotans.