John Marty's Agenda for Minnesota's Future: Agriculture & Farmers
John Marty understands that a healthy statewide and rural economy
depends on a vital family farm system in Minnesota. Low farm prices
coupled with high production costs among other factors, have pushed
thousands of family farmers off their land. This decline has created
hardships not only for farmers but for rural communities and
businesses. Clearly Minnesota must rejuvenate its farm economy. While
many of the solutions to the farm crisis require policy changes at the
federal level, much can still be done at the state level. John is
committed to providing leadership on a number of critical policy
initiatives that will ensure farmers have a livable income, promote
new markets for products and encourage sustainable agricultural
practices. John will work to stop the trend toward fewer and fewer
family farmers in our state and provide a strong voice for change
nationally. The needs of family farmers will be high on the priority
list of the Marty administration.
- 89 percent cumulative Farmer's Union voting record.
- Authored legislation protecting metro farmers from being forced
off their land by urban sprawl.
John Marty's Agenda for Minnesota's Agricultural Future
In order for family farmers to survive weather and market fluctuations
there needs to be economic policies that provide them stability. Fair
farm prices, anti-corporate farm laws, equitable credit and lending
policies, and accessible disaster assistance programs are a few
examples of policies that contribute to creating and supporting strong
As Governor, John will:
- Strengthen the rural economy.
- Promote fair farm prices. Support and strengthen price
protection initiatives for family farmers at the state level,
such as the recently enacted Minnesota Premium Price Act for
dairy producers. Strongly advocate for federal agricultural
policy changes that support a fair price for family farmers and
eliminate or reduce state and regional differences that exist
within sectors of the farm economy.
- Adopt an energy policy that cleans up our environment and
strengthens our farm economy through aggressive use of ethanol,
wind power and biomass for Minnesota's energy needs.
- Promote new uses for farm products by supporting efforts such
as those of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute
- Strengthen Minnesota's Corporate Farm Act to limit corporations
or cooperatives from entering into farm ownership, agricultural
production or livestock feeding in Minnesota.
- Require the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to provide
regular reports on the health of Minnesota's family farm
economy, including updates comparing cost-of-production with
actual prices for farmers, and the impact of family farm loss
on employment and tax revenue for rural communities and the
statewide economy. This public data is crucial in fighting for
adequate farm prices and for developing an effective economic
development plan for rural Minnesota.
- Promote and support family farming.
- Increase support for the Farm Advocate program. This program
provides advice and assistance to farmers facing foreclosure or
other economic distress.
- Support new and begining farmers program. It is essential we
provide the means to enable young people to get into farming.
To ensure a healthy future for the greater Minnesota economy we
must make sure that any young person who wants to get into
farming is given the opportunity.
- Pass a single-payer health care system with universal coverage
and comprehensive benefits, financed according to one's ability
to pay. Many farmers cannot afford the price of health care
insurance and virtually every farmer is forced to pay
exorbitant premiums for policies with poor coverage and
unacceptably high deductibles. Our current health care system
clearly discriminates against family farmers, small businesses
and all residents of Greater Minnesota.
- Reduce reliance on property taxes. Property taxes are
inherently unfair and can bankrupt farmers in bad years. John
will continue pushing for a shift away from property taxes to
fund critical government services such as education and state
mandated services, to a greater reliance on progressive income
taxes based on one=90s ability to pay.
- Promote environmentally sustainable agricultural research and farm
practices. Many Minnesota farmers are now in the third or fourth
generation on the land. They understand the importance of
stewardship of natural resources and the need for environmentally
sound, sustainable agricultural practices. Minnesota must ensure
that there are positive alternatives for farmers that combine
sustainable agriculture and profitability.
- Support and strengthen the Energy and Sustainable Agriculture
Program at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, including
money for the Mentor program, low-interest loan program and on-
farm grant program.
- Fund and support sustainable agriculture research and extension
services at the University of Minnesota, such as those begun by
the Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture.
- Create a new and beginning farmer pilot project with a
sustainable agriculture focus.
Prepared by Minnesotans for Marty, 2161 University Avenue, St. Paul, MN
55114 Telephone/Fax: (612)644-5775/644-4131
This document is provided electronically by the non-partisan
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