It is the policy of the state to preserve agricultural land and conserve its long-term use for the production of food and other agricultural products by:
(a) Protection of agricultural land and certain parcels of open space land from conversion to other uses;
(b) Conservation and enhancement of soil and water resources to ensure their long-term quality and productivity;
(c) Encouragement of planned growth and development of urban and rural areas to ensure the most effective use of agricultural land, resources and capital; and
(d) Fostering of ownership and operation of agricultural land by resident farmers.
The legislature finds that the policy in subdivision 1 will be best met by:
(a) Defining and locating lands well suited for the production of agricultural and forest products, and the use of that information as part of any local planning and zoning decision;
(b) Providing local units of government with coordinating guidelines, tools and incentives to prevent the unplanned and unscheduled conversion of agricultural and open space land to other uses;
(c) Providing relief from escalating property taxes and special assessments and protection of normal farm operations in agricultural areas subject to development pressures;
(d) Development of state policy to increase implementation of soil and water conservation by farmers;
(e) Assuring that state agencies act to maximize the preservation and conservation of agricultural land and minimize the disruption of agricultural production, in accordance with local social, economic and environmental considerations of the agricultural community;
(f) Assuring that public agencies employ and promote the use of management procedures which maintain or enhance the productivity of lands well suited to the production of food and other agricultural products;
(g) Guiding the orderly development and maintenance of transportation systems in rural Minnesota while preserving agricultural land to the greatest possible extent;
(h) Guiding the orderly construction and development of energy generation and transmission systems and enhancing the development of alternative energy to meet the needs of rural and urban communities and preserve agricultural land to the greatest possible extent by reducing energy costs and minimizing the use of agricultural land for energy production facilities; and
(i) Guiding the orderly development of solid and hazardous waste management sites to meet the needs and safety of rural and urban communities and preserve agricultural land to the greatest possible extent by minimizing the use of agricultural land for waste management sites.