Current Issues

Updated December 7, 2016

Dayton Announces Appointments to Governor's Committee on Pollinator Protection

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced the following appointments to the Governor's Committee on Pollinator Protection, created to advise the Governor, the Environmental Quality Board, the Interagency Pollinator Protection team, and participating agencies on pollinator policy and programs, and to promote statewide collaboration on pollinator protection.

Among those appointed is Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap. To view the entire list of appointees, click here.

Minnesota DNR Releases Updated Buffer Maps

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) released the updated Minnesota buffer map this month. The update is based on comments and change requests from landowners and drainage authorities to ensure the map accurately shows where buffers are needed. Since the preliminary buffer map was released in March 2016, the MN DNR has received more than 3,400 comments or change requests and has made nearly 2,100 map updates.

We recommend members view the interactive map, which allows you to find specific buffer requirements for waterways in precise areas. To suggest a correction to the buffer map, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). SWCDs are able to work directly with landowners on these issues. The next updated Minnesota buffer map is set to be released in early 2017.

The MN DNR has also updated the buffer map application. The application is a web-based mapping tool for soil and water conservation districts, drainage authorities and local governments to review the buffer map, suggest corrections and see MN DNR review decisions. The updated application provides SWCDs and drainage authorities with an easy way to submit map change requests and other comments.

Palmer Amaranth listed as a "Prohibited Weed Seed"

Palmer amaranth was discovered and confirmed in Minnesota this past September. It is suspected that seed intended for conservation plantings may be the source of the introduction. However, this pathway is still under active investigation, and it has not been determined (with certainty) how this aggressive weed arrived in Minnesota.

Currently, The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) believes that the number of introductions into the state has been relatively small. MDA has been working with farmers to identify and potentially eradicate these affected areas.

More information about this noxious weed may be found here.

MN DNR Forms Deer Plan Advisory Committee

A 20-member citizen committee has been formed to directly assist the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) as it develops and launches Minnesota's first-ever deer management plan in Spring 2018.

Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap will sit on the Deer Plan Advisory Committee. Other committee members include archery, firearm and muzzleloader hunters as well as non-hunters; landowners; farmers; land managers; wildlife photographers; local government; community activists; natural resource scientists; public health officials; and members and employees of hunting, conservation and agricultural organizations.

The committee's first meeting is Tuesday, December 13, in St. Paul. During the next year, committee members will review technical information and public input received at regional public meetings, online questionnaires and written comments.

Farm Bureau Offers Summer Internships

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) will offer five paid internships this summer in their Washington, DC office. The actual dates of summer internships are between mid-May and mid-August, depending on schedules. It is preferred that interns start their duties no later than June 12. The internship will last for 8-10 weeks. Areas of interest include Public Policy, Organization, Creative Services and Communications. To learn more, or to apply, visit fb.org/about/careers.

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) is offering a Public Relations Summer Internship position for 2017. The internship starts in June and concludes at the end of the Minnesota State Fair. Application deadline is January 31, 2017. For more information, or to apply, visit fbmn.org/employment-opportunities.