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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2190

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 04/04/2019 03:44pm

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to agriculture; establishing the next generation Minnesota farmer program;
requiring a report; 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.

new text begin [17.1019] NEXT GENERATION FARMER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall establish and administer a
next generation farmer development program to provide competitive grants to eligible farms.
new text end

new text begin (b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given:
new text end

new text begin (1) "commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture;
new text end

new text begin (2) "qualified agricultural business" means a business engaged in the growth, cultivation,
or raising of crops, livestock, poultry, dairy products, or poultry products, but not a facility
primarily engaged in processing agricultural products;
new text end

new text begin (3) "qualified intern" means an individual who:
new text end

new text begin (i) is at least 18 years of age;
new text end

new text begin (ii) is a legal resident of Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (iii) has a demonstrable interest in pursuing a career in Minnesota agriculture; and
new text end

new text begin (iv) has five years or less experience of being employed in an agricultural role in either
a full-time or part-time capacity.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Competitive grants and targeted development activities. new text end

new text begin The commissioner
shall award grants of up to $10,000 per qualified agricultural business applicant. The grants
are to provide qualified interns the opportunity to work with qualified agricultural businesses
in order to gain knowledge and skills necessary to seek advanced employment or
entrepreneurial opportunities in Minnesota agriculture. The next generation farmer
development program shall provide qualified interns:
new text end

new text begin (1) hands-on experience with the growth, cultivation, or raising of crops including the
process of planting, tending, and harvesting;
new text end

new text begin (2) hands-on experience with the raising of livestock or poultry or the production of
dairy or poultry products;
new text end

new text begin (3) an understanding of the day-to-day operations of the qualified agricultural business
including issues related to workforce, regulatory compliance, and general operations;
new text end

new text begin (4) an understanding of the market economics impacting the portion of the agricultural
economy in which the qualified intern is employed; and
new text end

new text begin (5) any other elements of farm operation necessary to prepare the qualified intern for a
career in Minnesota agriculture.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin General terms and conditions of grants. new text end

new text begin (a) A grant made by the commissioner
may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the intern's wages. The qualified agricultural
business is responsible for paying the intern an hourly wage of no less than the state's
minimum wage. The grant shall cover the difference between the state's minimum wage
and a $15 per hour wage.
new text end

new text begin (b) The qualified agricultural business must pay any overtime or other compensation
required by law and maintain the necessary workers' compensation and other insurance
coverages as provided by law.
new text end

new text begin (c) The term for a grant issued under this section is for seven months or less. A qualified
intern may only receive grant funding twice in any five-year period.
new text end

new text begin (d) A qualified agricultural business may not submit more than two grant applications
in a fiscal year. The grant amount for any qualified agricultural business may not exceed
$10,000. A qualified agricultural business may not receive grant funding for more than four
years of internship assistance in any five-year period.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Application procedures. new text end

new text begin (a) An applicant for a next generation farmer
development grant shall submit to the commissioner an original completed application.
Applications must be received by the commissioner by the application deadline.
new text end

new text begin (b) The application must include the following information:
new text end

new text begin (1) the name of the qualified agricultural business where the qualified intern will be
employed, including the name of the individual or individuals authorized to negotiate and
sign contracts and to receive and report on grant funds;
new text end

new text begin (2) a list of three references or letters of support listing the character, qualifications, and
suitability of the qualified agricultural business;
new text end

new text begin (3) a general statement regarding which farmer development activities listed in
subdivision 2 will be pursued as part of the internship; and
new text end

new text begin (4) a position description that includes the following:
new text end

new text begin (i) a statement of the internship's objectives and a statement of major work tasks stated
in measurable and quantifiable terms whenever possible;
new text end

new text begin (ii) an identification of primary direct benefits of the internship for the qualified intern;
new text end

new text begin (iii) criteria for evaluating the success of the internship;
new text end

new text begin (iv) a statement regarding the anticipated internship starting and completion dates;
new text end

new text begin (v) an estimated budget for the cost of the internship, stating hours and the estimated
amount requested for the grant; and
new text end

new text begin (5) a description of the personnel qualifications of those who would be assigned to the
project.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall consider an application upon its receipt. If an application is
incomplete, the commissioner shall notify the applicant specifying the additional information
required. The applicant has 20 days from the date on the commissioner's letter to provide
the additional information. If there is no response to the commissioner's letter within 20
days, the commissioner shall not consider the application further.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner may require the applicant to submit other information reasonably
related to a determination of applicant or project eligibility or project feasibility.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Application review; approval; notification. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall review
all applications. The commissioner shall determine whether an application shall be granted
and the amount and terms of the grant. The commissioner shall weigh and compare all grant
applications in light of the availability of funds.
new text end

new text begin (b) The following criteria shall be used by the commissioner in reviewing each grant
application:
new text end

new text begin (1) whether the position description provided by the qualified agricultural business
results in experience which supports the qualified intern's preparation for a potential career
in agriculture, including both practical hands-on experiences and opportunities to learn
business operations and management;
new text end

new text begin (2) the degree to which the activities listed in subdivision 2 will be incorporated into the
position description;
new text end

new text begin (3) the degree to which similar or related projects by this applicant or other persons have
been successful or unsuccessful; and
new text end

new text begin (4) the qualified agricultural business's past performance as a grantee under this program,
if applicable.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall notify the applicant in writing of the approval or disapproval
of its grant application.
new text end

new text begin (d) The grant cycle should approximately be scheduled as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) complete applications should be submitted by November 1 of the year before the
grant year;
new text end

new text begin (2) notification of approval or disapproval should be done by January 5 of the grant year;
new text end

new text begin (3) funds shall be dispersed to an approved applicant within 60 days of notification; and
new text end

new text begin (4) grantee reports shall be submitted to the commissioner as provided in subdivision
7.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Monitoring and review. new text end

new text begin The grantee must keep records of all activities
undertaken in connection with the implementation of the grant proposal. The books, records,
documents, and accounting procedures and practices of the grantee related to the grant are
subject to examination by the commissioner. The grantee must give the commissioner access
during normal business hours to all business records related to the project.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Final report. new text end

new text begin A grantee must return all unexpended grant funds and submit a
final written report on the project within 60 days of the termination date of the contract. A
grantee may submit additional information in the final report but the report must include
the following information:
new text end

new text begin (1) an assessment regarding the completion of project objectives and work tasks as well
as the results achieved, written, to the extent possible, in measurable and quantifiable terms;
new text end

new text begin (2) an assessment of further experience that may be necessary with respect to the
objectives of the internship, based on the experience gained during the internship; and
new text end

new text begin (3) a complete financial statement accounting for all expenditures of grant funds.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Biennial report required. new text end

new text begin No later than March 15 each odd-numbered year,
the commissioner shall report program outcomes and recommendations to the legislative
committees and divisions with jurisdiction over agriculture policy and finance.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Citation. new text end

new text begin This act may be cited as the "Next Generation Minnesota Farmer
Act."
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $250,000 in fiscal year 2020 and $250,000 in fiscal year 2021 are appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of agriculture for purposes of section 1.
new text end