In an interview with the Red River Farm Network, House Agriculture Committee Chair Samantha Vang said her goal is to solve the problems of farmers. The inclusion of $10 million for a grain indemnity fund and $4 million for the Dairy Assistance Investment and Relief Initiative are examples of that work. Vang is also proud of the ag committee’s work to support emerging farmers. “When we think about a farmer in America, we often think about a white man who has a tractor and a barn, but that’s not the farmer today. I come from a strong history of farmers. The Hmong community has always been farmers even before they arrived to the U.S.” Vang said the issues facing emerging farmers include access to land and to capital. The omnibus bill creates an emerging farmers office within the Minnesota Department of Agriculture with additional staff to provide support. Dating back to the last election, there is often a perception of a divide between metro and outstate Minnesota. Vang does not share that view. “I haven’t heard of any urban-rural divide; if anything, it is more of a partnership.”
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