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Subdivision 1.Program.

The commissioner must implement a dairy development and profitability enhancement program consisting of dairy profitability enhancement teams and dairy business planning grants.

Subd. 2.Dairy profitability enhancement teams.

(a) Dairy profitability enhancement teams must provide one-on-one information and technical assistance to dairy farms of all sizes to enhance their financial success and long-term sustainability. Teams must assist dairy producers in all dairy-producing regions of the state and may consist of farm business management instructors, dairy extension specialists, and other dairy industry partners. Teams may engage in activities including comprehensive financial analysis, risk management education, enhanced milk marketing tools and technologies, and facilitating or improving production systems including rotational grazing and other sustainable agriculture methods.

(b) The commissioner must make grants to regional or statewide organizations qualified to manage the various components of the teams. Each regional or statewide organization must designate a coordinator responsible for overseeing the program and submitting periodic reports to the commissioner regarding aggregate changes in producer financial stability, productivity, product quality, animal health, environmental protection, and other performance measures attributable to the program. The organizations must submit this information in a format that maintains the confidentiality of individual dairy producers.

Subd. 3.Dairy business planning grants.

The commissioner may award dairy business planning grants of up to $5,000 per producer to develop comprehensive business plans. Producers must not use dairy business planning grants for capital improvements.

Subd. 4.Funding allocation.

Except as specified in law, the commissioner may allocate dairy development and profitability enhancement program dollars among the permissible uses specified in this section, including efforts to improve the quality of milk produced in the state, in the proportions that the commissioner deems most beneficial to the state's dairy farmers.

Subd. 5.Reporting.

No later than July 1 each year, the commissioner must submit a detailed accomplishment report and work plan detailing future plans for, and the actual and anticipated accomplishments from, expenditures under this section to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees and divisions with jurisdiction over agriculture policy and finance. If the commissioner significantly modifies a submitted work plan during the fiscal year, the commissioner must notify the chairs and ranking minority members.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes