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HF 1461

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 06/21/2017 11:01am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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A bill for an act
relating to agriculture; establishing an urban agriculture development pilot grant
program; appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 17.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[17.132] URBAN AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT PILOT PROGRAM.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

(a) The commissioner shall establish and administer an
urban agriculture development pilot program to provide competitive grants to eligible cities;
Native American tribal communities; and individuals, nonprofit organizations, and
cooperatives located in eligible cities.

(b) For purposes of this section, "urban agriculture" means producing plants, poultry,
livestock, compost, or other agricultural products on public or private property within city
limits or in a peri-urban area including, but not limited to, residential land farmed by the
property's stewards and caretakers for market, community, or personal use.

(c) For purposes of this section, "eligible city" means:

(1) a city with a population over 10,000; or

(2) a city where at least ten percent of the population is comprised of communities of
color or Native American tribal communities living at or below 200 percent of the poverty
threshold as determined by the United States Census Bureau.

Subd. 2.

Competitive grants.

Grant applications must be submitted to the commissioner
in the form prescribed by the commissioner. For each grant, the commissioner may award
up to 25 percent of total funds appropriated or otherwise available to the commissioner to
award grants under this section during the fiscal year. The commissioner must award
competitive grants based on the applicant's commitment to:

(1) increase urban agriculture production capacity;

(2) create living-wage jobs;

(3) increase fresh food access, including access to affordable organic foods, to improve
both local and regional food security;

(4) reduce or eliminate health disparities related to food access;

(5) promote value-added agricultural production;

(6) provide entrepreneurial opportunities;

(7) enhance community education;

(8) involve youth;

(9) promote racial equity by engaging and increasing food access for low-income
communities, communities of color, and Native American tribal communities;

(10) provide healthy food, including fresh, culturally appropriate foods, to food shelves
and similar charitable organizations;

(11) extend the growing season;

(12) develop or enhance farm-to-school channels;

(13) reduce waste or make more efficient use of energy, water, nutrients, or other inputs;

(14) provide environmental benefits, including but not limited to clean water, healthy
soils, carbon sequestration, and pollinator habitat;

(15) promote organic and sustainable agriculture;

(16) create food hubs and other collaborative infrastructure for urban agriculture including
shared storage facilities, processing equipment, and product marketing;

(17) increase food justice;

(18) protect the tenure of urban farmers, if the grantee is not the owner of the land but
has a lease agreement;

(19) expand the supply of urban agricultural land available for permanent use;

(20) obtain or provide matching funds;

(21) develop or strengthen partnerships and other collaborations; or

(22) contribute to geographic diversity among grant recipients.

Subd. 3.

Repayment required.

(a) For a period of five years after receiving a grant
under this section, a city must repay to the commissioner an amount equal to each grant
received under this section plus interest if the city terminates a lease or adopts, amends, or
repeals an ordinance or a resolution resulting in an individual, nonprofit organization, or
cooperative losing the ability to continue farming the same parcel of land.

(b) Repayment is not required under paragraph (a) if the activities of the individual,
nonprofit organization, or cooperative constituted a public nuisance; if the individual,
nonprofit organization, or cooperative did not farm the parcel in two of the prior three years;
or if the land is used for affordable housing development. If, for a period of five years after
receiving a grant under this section, a city uses the parcel for affordable housing, the city
must provide replacement land comparable in location, farming qualities, size, and soil
quality.

(c) An individual, nonprofit organization, cooperative, or Native American tribal
community must repay to the commissioner an amount equal to each grant received under
this section plus interest if the individual, nonprofit organization, cooperative, or Native
American tribal community sells or leases the land used for urban farming for nonagricultural
development that is not affordable housing development within five years of receiving a
grant.

(d) For purposes of this subdivision, "affordable housing development" has the meaning
given in section 462.355, subdivision 3.

(e) The commissioner must compute interest as provided in section 270C.40.

Subd. 4.

Annual report required.

No later than January 15 each year, the commissioner
must report program outcomes and recommendations to the legislative committees and
divisions with jurisdiction over agriculture policy and finance. Reported program outcomes
must include, but are not limited to, jobs created, wages generated, the number of people
trained, the amount of human and organizational capacity building facilitated, and the
quantity of agricultural products produced.

Subd. 5.

Expiration.

This section expires June 30, 2019.

Sec. 2. APPROPRIATION.

$10,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2019 are appropriated
from the general fund to the commissioner of agriculture for purposes of section 1.

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