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A bold vision for agriculture

To the editor:

Minnesota farmers have a long history of leadership and innovation in agriculture, and that is as true in 2020 as it has been at any time in the past. Representative Jeff Brand, Vice Chair of the House Agriculture committee has helped Minnesota farmers thrive now, and supports a bold vision for the future.

Brand is a co-author on bills that help us weather the current storm, while planning for a future where farmers, land and communities like ours will flourish. To help us weather the current storm, Brand was a co-author on HF 3699, a bipartisan bill that would increase the biofuel content at the pump from 10 to 15%. Planning for the future, Brand was the chief-author of HF 962, the “Forever Green Initiative” to develop crops like Camelina which can be used to make jet fuel while reducing carbon emissions significantly. This is a fuel that can be grown locally and processed in Minnesota to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs and communities, maintain our leadership role and bring even more vitality to agriculture and the people agriculture supports.

Jeff was with me on August 10th when the first crop of MN-Clearwater Kernza, or Intermediate Wheatgrass was harvested in Nicollet County. He posted on social media which prompted a news article in the Saint Peter Herald on that first harvest. Brand is endorsed by both the Minnesota Farm Bureau and the Minnesota Farmers Union. Brand just successfully helped pass Section 179 tax conformity (a tax cut) in order to help farmers and small business owners during a very difficult economic recession.

I am a farmer and I appreciate that Representative Brand wants to help American schoolchildren and farmers by passing farm-to-school legislation. Brand is a leader in passing legislation that will make working in and around a grain bin safer for farmers. I believe his leadership might allow for more cash to flow back to the land, sequester more carbon in the soil and lead to less costly inputs and better water quality downriver. For all of these reasons and more, please vote for Representative Jeff Brand on or before November 3rd.

Ben Penner

St. Peter

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