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POLICY

The Midwest Agriculture Summit was held in Fargo where attendees listened to policy makers speak on current agriculture issues and challenges.
The Red River Valley Water Supply Project will sue farmland owners for eminent domain if they don’t sign easements before July 8, 2022. Farmers say the project is paying one-tenth what others pay for far smaller oil, gas and water pipelines.
The announcement comes as fair season begins. Highly pathogenic avian influenza has affected almost 3 million birds on Minnesota farms in 2022.
A series of April blizzards created a “long tail” of cattle illnesses, including pneumonia and scours. Losses range from zero to hundreds of calves, on top of record-setting drought and low feed and forage supplies. The numbers hide some of the effects — the loss in value when either a calf or a cow is lost, leaving orphans. 

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Small meat processors were thrust into the spotlight early in the COVID pandemic and now are benefitting from grants and programs to help them expand. Jenniges Meat Processing in Brooten, Minnesota, is a prime example.
The decision means carbon pipeline companies must file for a siting permit with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Without statewide authority, permitting would have been left up to individual counties along the pipeline route.
In January, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was restricting the use of a herbicide in six Minnesota counties out of concern for an endangered species, a species it chose not to make public. Before the calendar could flip to April, EPA had reversed those restrictions as well as even wider herbicide bans because of an insect called the American burying beetle. So what was behind the initial secretiveness? Why the sudden reversal?
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, S.D., are moving a bill in the Senate, designed to pressure international ocean freight companies to fill freight “containers” with agricultural products instead of sending them back to Asia empty. Rick Brandenburger, president of Richland Innovative Food Crops Inc., Inc., of Breckenridge, Minnesota, says the company is getting only one-third of their needed containers. They want “teeth” in any efforts to fix the problem.
The Environmental Protection agency says it relies on information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but information from that agency and other snake experts seem to contradict what EPA says.
On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, held a virtual roundtable with northwest Minnesota caregivers who assist those living with Alzheimer's disease.

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A Nov. 18 virtual event which included speakers Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, State Representative Samantha Vang, Union Hmong Kitchen Chef Yia Vang and HAFA co-founders Pakou and Janssen Hang, celebrated the association reaching its funding goal to purchase the 155 acres it now farms on.
The Environmental Quality Board approved changing the form as part of a pilot project, which will make the assessments more expensive to fill out, but is part of Minnesota's goals to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Some North Dakota farm groups are growing concerned about federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates for elected Farm Service Agency county advisory committees and others.

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