Poppe proposes ag education funding

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One local legislator’s agricultural proposals could have a large impact on the ag industry in Minnesota.



Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, has proposed Minnesota fund ag education initiatives to help get students interested in the agriculture industry.

“This is a real clear workforce development proposal to try to get students to see agriculture as a work opportunity,” she said.

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Poppe’s bill is part of the House Democrats’ larger ag package.

Under the bill, the state would fund the creation of an online introductory agriculture course which high schoolers could access through Post Secondary Education Opportunity courses at any Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) school.

In addition, the bill would set aside $1 million in funding for education promotion across the state, as well as funding for the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council to create more opportunities for FFA, among other ag programs.

“There’s so many things that are connected to agriculture as 20 percent of the state’s economy, but we don’t have enough young people learning about the opportunities in ag culture,” Poppe said.

Other bills in the package include proposals for tax credits for beginning and immigrant farmers, building on the farm-to-foodshelf program launched last year, $1.4 million in additional funds for University of Minnesota research, tax incentives for farm-based value-added business expansion, further research for trade opportunities and more.