Today, Thursday, November 7, Governor Tim Walz sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting a Secretarial Disaster Designation be issued for several Minnesota counties so that farmers could access federal programs to help recover from recent weather events and losses.
“In recent years, farmers in the Midwest have faced numerous challenges and Minnesota producers are no exception. From low commodity prices, to uncertainty around trade, farmers have struggled to find stable, profitable markets for their crops. These challenges have only become more acute with the severe weather conditions plaguing our state,” reads the letter from Governor Walz, going on to describe the widespread flooding, rain, and snow that have led to smaller harvests, lower quality crops, and even crops left to rot in the field.
The letter requests that the Secretarial Disaster Designation be issued for the counties of Polk, Clay, Norman, Marshall, Pennington, Lake of the Woods, Kittson, Roseau, Red Lake, Wilkin, Becker, and Mahnomen.
Governor Walz issued Executive Order 19-36 on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, declaring an emergency and lifting regulations on motor carriers and drivers to alleviate the strain on farmers in Minnesota during a particularly difficult harvest season after meeting with around fifty farmers and agriculture leaders in East Grand Forks to discuss the weather-related crisis facing farms in the region.
The full text of the letter can be found here.