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News & Press: Minnesota Milk Minute

Minnesota Milk Minute - April 8, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eliot Briggs
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Minnesota Milk Minute 

April 8, 2016

A reliable source of timely market information, news and current events. 

In This Issue

Minnesota Milk Legislative Update

Meet Cole Rupprecht, Minnesota Milk's Newest Staff Member

Consider Joining Your Soils and Water Conservation Board

Perspective on Trade Deals

Last Call: Women's Conference is April 13


Upcoming Events

June 15-20 - New York Dairy Tour


Special thanks to
Minnesota Milk
Associate Members.
This week’s featured members:

Davisco Foods International, Inc.

Midwest Dairy Association

AgroChem, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim

Deluxe Feeds, Inc.

Merial, Ltd.


Minnesota Milk Legislative Update (Lucas Sjostrom, Minnesota Milk / Daryn McBeth, Gray Plant Mooty)

The first committee deadline, the date by which bills must had to have passed out of legislative committees of jurisdiction in either the House or Senate, lapsed on April 1. Those bills then had to have been passed through committees of jurisdiction in the other body by April 8, known as the second committee deadline. After April 8, legislation must either be waiting for consideration by the House Ways and Means/Senate Finance committee, or be eligible to be included or amended on to a larger legislative vehicle.

Several dairy-specific measures remain in play. This week, Minnesota Milk spent time working with township and county associations to clarify a farmer’s ability to run force-main flex lines for manure field application in ditch right-of-ways along local roads. After passing out of both the House and Senate Transportation Committees, HF 3723 (Drazkowski) and SF 3368 (Koenen) now each await consideration by the full House and Senate, respectively, for final passage.

The House bill would change current law to clarify that only the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has authority to require permits to run flex lines along state highways, and then would enact new language establishing the ability of licensed applicators to use ditch right-of-ways along local roads without worrying about local permitting.

The Senate bill establishes a three-tiered system where MnDOT permits would be required along state highways, local township or county permits would be required along local roads, and no permit would be required if the local road authority did not establish a permit program. Final details of the ditch right-of-way and any permit provisions will have to be reconciled after passage of the bills by the House and Senate.

Other dairy-related issues include:

  • Urban and rural interests have come together under a bill to establish a “Good Food Access Program” (HF 3363/SF 2958) that purportedly would help address the problem of “food deserts” by supporting the sale of healthy, affordable food in areas of the state where better access to those foods is needed.
  • A bill (HF 2974) trying to address overtime wages for workers in Minnesota under the H2-A Visa program received favorable consideration by the House Agriculture Policy Committee recently.
  • The buffer law modifications being proposed by Rep. Paul Torkelson (R – Hanska) and Sen. Rod Skoe (DFL – Clearbrook) in HF 3000/SF 2503 include clarifying that the law does not apply to private ditches or “benefitted areas;” a requirement that when landowners are compensated for damages arising from the installation of buffers, the payment they receive is calculated based on the value of the land before the buffers were installed; allowing counties and watershed districts to enforce buffer requirements by ordinances or rules, in addition to administrative penalties limited to $500; and establishing an aid program for local units of government to implement the buffer requirements.

We are also working with the state to find solutions to make Minnesota a more competitive place for processors. One such example is finding solutions for Hastings Cooperative Creamery as they begin to expand their plant and increase efficiency. Currently, their options are better in surrounding states, and we would like Minnesota to be more competitive in their decision. This conversation, started at Dairy Day at the Capitol, has Minnesota Milk and Hastings working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and even the Governor’s office.

As the State Legislature continues to move toward its May adjournment date, the Minnesota Milk Producers Association will remain actively engaged – both on defense and offense – to see that Minnesota is as friendly as possible to our state’s dairy industry. ​

Meet Cole Rupprecht, Minnesota Milk's Newest Staff Member

Greetings! I am excited to join the staff at Minnesota Milk and Midwest Dairy Association as the new Industry Relations program manager working with our industry stakeholders. Having grown up on my family’s dairy farm in northwest Minnesota, I am excited to be back in my home state. I recently relocated to the Buffalo area from Fargo, where I was a field representative for North Dakota Farm Bureau covering 13 counties and working with the membership and county activities. Prior to that, I was a livestock production specialist for North Dakota State University Extension Service in Cass County, N.D. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in animal science from NDSU. I look forward to working and collaborating with our industry stakeholders, whose goals are to make dairy farming in Minnesota profitable and secure for the future.

Consider Joining Your Soil and Water Conservation Board (Minn. Assoc. of Soil and Water Conservation Districts)

We want to encourage dairy farmers and others interested in agriculture to run for supervisor of their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). These supervisor positions are filled through general elections on November 8, 2016. Those interested in running for Supervisor should file at the County Auditor’s office from May 17 through May 31, 2016. Because SWCDs are a primary source of conservation information, support and program management for landowners and other local units of government, dairy input is of great importance. Candidates must reside in one of the nomination districts up for election and they serve four year terms, meeting monthly with per diems and expenses paid on those days. Contact your local County SWCD for more information, and find your office in the SWCD Directory.

Perspective on Trade Deals (National Milk Producers Federation)

“Trade agreements are a two-way street, involving significant compromises in search of a win-win outcome,” says Jim Mulhern, CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. He outlines the group’s work on trade and says their verdict is that America’s dairy farmers and marketers will be better off with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but not so for the pending trade agreement with the European Union. Read more.

Last Call: Women's Conference is April 13

“ActivateHer,” the 18th Annual Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference, is this Wednesday, April 13, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. Topics range from small business and Ag in the Classroom, to drones and blogging. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a wine and cheese tasting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Read more and register.

“Farming is a profession of hope.” -- Brian Brett


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