As Minnesota is one of the states in which PAN does on-the-ground campaign work, we send out regular updates on PAN and partners’ work in Minnesota and beyond — from pesticide-related science to opportunities to take action. If you’d like to receive these updates via email, sign up here.
Greetings from the PAN Minnesota team!
Despite incredible community organizing, this past year we’ve seen important initiatives (securing equitable resources for farmers of color, protections for public health and natural ecosystems) struggle to get through the state legislature. In addition to building strong grassroots organizations and power in our communities, we also need the skills and strategies to navigate public policy and funding at the state level. So, I’m excited to share that after several months of organizing, we’re launching the Minnesota Farmer & Environmental Policy Training Series for MN-based, BIPOC-led farming and environmental justice organizations!
Starting this month and continuing on through June, a cohort of leaders from around the state will build skills in policy development & advocacy, communications, and organizing and coalition building, while also building relationships and alliances across issue areas to fight for real solutions together. We’ll feature lessons and perspectives from these leaders in the coming months, so stay tuned for updates.
You’ll find more updates on our work below. As always, thanks for being part of the PAN community.
Zoe Hollomon, Organizing Co-Director, Minnesota
Free well water testing
Do you know what’s in your water? Come find out at the next free well water testing clinic in Detroit Lakes on May 12th. For more information contact Toxic Taters Coordinator Tanya RedRoad (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Regulating pesticide-treated seeds
Last month HF 766/SF 794, a bill that would address loopholes in federal and state law that leave pesticide-treated seeds unregulated, was reintroduced in the MN House of Representatives. Last year, we heard the devastating tale out of Mead, Nebraska, where the town was exposed to piles of toxic waste resulting in contaminated soil and water after a nearby ethanol plant was found to be processing corn seed coated with pesticides. This bill would protect Minnesotans from similar disasters by banning treated seeds in ethanol production. It would also require that the agrochemical industry and the state provide guidance for safe disposal of pesticide-treated seeds. Please call or email Melissa Hortman (email@example.com), Chair of the House, and ask her to include this bill in the house omnibus agriculture and environmental omnibus bills.
Finalizing state budgets
Minnesota House and Senate committees are finalizing their separate budget proposals — and the differences are stark. The House budget proposes investing just over $97 million into building a resilient, multi-generational, multi-racial farm and food system, which is just about 1% of the state’s historic surplus. The Senate budget, however, proposes investing just $5 million into agriculture — .05% of the state’s historic surplus — so they can use the bulk of their budget for tax cuts that heavily favor the wealthy few. Please take a couple of minutes to urge your Senator and the Senate Majority Leader not to miss this opportunity to support farmers, rural Minnesotans, and the working class.
Call for vendors!
NĀTIFS is opening an Indigenous Food Lab Market within the Midtown Global Market that will feature products made by Indigenous vendors and makers. If you’re an Indigenous seller or maker of retail food or beverages, health & wellness products, clothing, shoes or textiles, and are interested in this opportunity, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.