The following legislative priorities were created in January 2021.
A chronic issue throughout the industry is the availability of qualified workers. The lack of workers cannot be traced to a single cause but rather is the function of several factors ranging from affordable housing to job training programs to broadband access. We support legislation that will improve workforce availability and encourage individuals to enter the poultry industry workforce by establishing a school loan forgiveness program for degrees in poultry. We also support expanded educational opportunities focused on poultry through career and technical programs.
The poultry industry strongly supports the continuation of the Agriculture Research, Education, Extension, and Technology Transfer (AGREETT) Fund at the Department of Agriculture. Specifically, we support the full dedication of the funds appropriated within the AGREETT Fund for poultry diseases of avian influenza, Salmonella, and other turkey-related diseases including dermititis. We also support the Ag Special within the University of Minnesota’s budget and full funding for the Board of Animal Health.
Food Supply Continuity:
The poultry industry supports legislation protecting the food supply chain as well as those involved in the process by providing access to State Disaster Assistance Contingency Account funds for mitigating costs brought on by a disease outbreak.
Livestock Permit Fees:
The Minnesota Pollution ControlAgency (MPCA) began a rulemaking process in June, 2017 to change water permit fees, which include National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES)permits for livestock farms and agricultural processing facilities. According to the MPCA, they have not comprehensively increased water fees since 1992 (29 years). MPCA representatives feel that using the rulemaking process is the only way to address this issue since they have approached the legislature several times to increase fees but the legislature has consistently refused. On January 27, 2020, the MPCA formally began a rulemaking process to increase permit fees on feedlots. The poultry industry supports legislation that requires legislative oversight of the MPCA permit fee process.