Ag commissioner greets milk producers

ST. PAUL — Agriculture commissioner Dave Frederickson stood in the doorway to the Governor’s Reception Room, shaking hands and greeting nearly everyone who entered by name.

Frederickson stood in for an ailing Gov. Mark Dayton, greeting dairy producers on Feb. 15 during Dairy Day at the Capitol.

He asked the milk producers to tell them what was on their mind and promised to carry their concerns to the governor.

Raw milk was the first concern brought forward. Minnesota Milk wants consumers to drink a wholesome, nutritious product and they’re concerned proposed raw milk legislation will lead to people having bad experiences with milk.

Frederickson said the governor is in agreement with Minnesota Milk. He wants to protect the integrity of the food system.


Minnesota Milk president Pat Lunemann of Clarissa thanked the governor for his support of streamlining the permit process and asked to be sure the streamlining applies to agriculture.

Other issues brought up were funding for the dairy development and profitability enhancement program and Johne’s testing.

Frederickson highlighted the governor’s budget, saying Dayton didn’t want to dump the deficit on the backs of rural Minnesota. The governor’s budget doesn’t decrease funding for local government aid and includes a sliver of additional education funding. It also includes a tax increase on the top 5 percent of revenue earners in the state of Minnesota to generate an additional $4.1 billion in new revenue, Frederickson said. The governor was kind to the department of agriculture, slicing its budget by only 5 percent.

But the governor’s budget is only the beginning, said Frederickson, a former lawmaker. The governor proposes and the Legislature disposes.

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