Minnesota lawmakers are starting to consider budget bills in conference. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is asking for more money to boost trade, fight Palmer amaranth and animal diseases like African swine fever this session. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says there is also a need for more resources to address farmer health and well-being. “We have more money in the House and Senate for mental health counseling and the House has more money for our farm advocate program.” Petersen says the additional funds can go a long way. “The agriculture budget in Minnesota is less than one percent of the state budget. We do lots of good with what we have and with the funds we can hire another mental health counselor.”
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