KEYC - Senator Receives Local Input for Federal Farm Bill

Senator Receives Local Input for Federal Farm Bill

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KASOTA, Minn. -

Debates on the Federal Farm Bill are approaching, and legislators like Tina Smith, are making sure farmers' voices are being heard.

U.S. Senator Tina Smith visited the area on Saturday, to speak with farm leaders on important issues, including solar energy.

Smith stopped in Kasota Saturday morning, and met with the owner of a local farm that produces solar energy.

"Today we had a chance to look at what a big difference, investments in solar energy can make in rural Minnesota," said Smith. "These solar rays are allowing this community to buy energy at 50 percent less than they would otherwise, it is affordable, it is reliable, it is clean."

Smith will take an active role in helping to write the energy section of the Federal Farm Bill, which will be debated in the Senate in the coming months.

Owner of the community solar garden Brian Vetter said he looks forward to seeing the senator's actions, on the topics discussed.

"I would like to see her push something in the form of CRP acres, also we talked a little bit about the REAP program, for her to move forward with that and rural healthcare," said Vetter. 

The sit-down seemed to generate a variety of ideas on energy efficiency. Smith spoke about the importance of the farm bill and what it includes. 

"It also includes really important provisions for low interest loans, to help expand this kind of solar energy, and also help people with energy efficiency," said Smith. 

Smith also met with farm leaders in Mankato, to discuss priorities for the upcoming debate over the 2018 Federal Farm Bill..