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Published May 23, 2009, 09:29 AM

Farmer Union sees some positives in session

Minnesota Farmer Union (MFU) saw positive action on many fronts this year at the state capital during the 2009 legislative session.

Minnesota Farmer Union (MFU) saw positive action on many fronts this year at the state capital during the 2009 legislative session, which adjourned on Monday, May 18.

“We were pleased that there were positive results for our priorities, including changes to the Green Acres Program; extension of the Farmer-Lender Program; and $35 million for the Rural Finance Authority,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union president. “However, the fact that the Legislature did not pass an overall budget is of concern. It is now up to Governor Tim Pawlenty to makes cuts. Farmers are very concerned about high and rising property taxes, and the governor needs to consider the impact on landowners when making these budget decisions.”

The budget for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Board of Animal Health, and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) took reasonable cuts during the legislative session, Peterson said.

Pawlenty will make further cuts to the state budget through the unallotment process, where funding for these departments could be further reduced.

In addition, MFU is very concerned about the impact the unallotment process could have on property taxes; cuts to Local Government Aid (LGA); and assistance for hospitals and nursing homes, Peterson said.

For more information on MFU legislative priorities, check out www.mfu.org.

Minnesota Farmers Union (www.mfu.org) is a nonprofit membership-based organization working to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers, as well as rural communities.

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