Smith, other representatives gather to discuss next federal Farm Bill

The goal was to gather insight and feedback for ways to make the upcoming Farm Bill work better for rural areas in southern Minnesota.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 12:13 AM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) gathered with stakeholders in Mankato Thursday to discuss the next federal Farm Bill.

The roundtable included local businesses and organizations, like Greater Mankato Growth and GreenSeam.

The goal was to gather insight and feedback for ways to make the upcoming Farm Bill work better for rural areas in southern Minnesota.

Challenges cited include housing shortages, lack of infrastructure and public works, inaccessibility to funding and technical assistance.

”In small, rural communities, they’re just trying to keep the lights on. They don’t have time to look for grants or find a grant writer or, if they can, even find a grant writer. This is an opportunity to figure out how to make it easier for people. In that Farm Bill, I want to see more investment in rural communities and, maybe, streamlining some of our programs,” stated Colleen Landkamer, the Minnesota State director for the USDA’s Rural Development agency.

Minnesota’s USDA Rural Development has about 55 programs for loans and grants.

Twenty-one representatives were present for Thursday’s discussion.