Value-added agriculture, farm mental health, and more options for affordable housing — features Republicans highlight in a 258-million-dollar agriculture/rural development/housing bill the Minnesota Senate passed Tuesday night. There’s also money for expanding broadband Internet access in Greater Minnesota and Elbow Lake Senator Torrey Westrom says, “30 million dollars is a strong investment. The governor’s got 70 million [in his proposed budget], but that’s only coupled with significant tax increases. And so we don’t have tax increases to back-fill further investment. We use existing funds.”
Westrom says the bill also includes loans and grants to help small farms upgrade technology, and funding for a “soybean innovation campus” in Crookston.