Section 1 [State soil] names Lester as the official state soil.
Sections 2 and 3 [Reports] remove reporting duties to Environmental Quality Board and the Legislature on sustainable agriculture and integrated pest management.
Section 4 [Household pesticide disposal sites] allows the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to provide household waste pesticide collection through a group of counties under a joint powers agreement or contract.
Section 5 [Indemnification] provides that local waste pesticide collection employees under a cooperative agreement with the MDA to be treated as state employees for the purposes of indemnification under the state tort claims act.
Section 6 [Agricultural pesticide dealer pesticide invoice] allows agricultural pesticide dealers to get a hardship exemption on showing the actual state gross sales fee paid on the receipt.
Section 7 [Infested definition; plant protection law] modifies the “infested” definition to include harboring plant pests in a quantity to threaten other plants.
Section 8 [Tree care provider registry] provides that only persons or businesses who hire persons must provide tree care must register with the MDA.
Section 9 [Plant treatment process inspection] allows the MDA to provide inspection, sampling, and other certification services for plant treatment processes.
Section 10 [Misuse of a certificate or permit] prohibits the misuse of plant protection law certificates or permits.
Section 11 [Infested definition; nursery law] modifies the “infested” definition to include harboring plant pests in a quantity to threaten other plants.
Section 12 [Nonhardy definition; nursery law] defines “nonhardy” for the purposes of the nursery law.
Section 13 [Storage of nursery stock] provides that balled and burlapped nursery stock must be kept in a moisture-holding material approved by the Commissioner of Agriculture.
Section 14 [Labeling nursery stock] requires nursery stock collected in the wild to be labeled “collected from the wild” and nonhardy nursery stock must be labeled “nonhardy.”
Sections 15 to 28 [Inspection and enforcement] provide for the inspection and enforcement of laws relating to wholesale produce dealers, grain buyers, warehouses, and grain storage under current MDA powers for plant protection and nurseries.
Section 29 [Vegetable seed labeling] provides for the option of labeling vegetable seed containers of any size with the number of seeds.
Section 30 [Flower seed labeling] provides for the option of labeling flower seed containers of any size with the number of seeds.
Section 31 [Distribute definition] exempts feed manufactured and fed to a distributor's livestock from the definition of distribute under the commercial feed law.
Section 32 [Technical] updates statutory language in the food law related to the MDA laboratory.
Section 33 [Organic agriculture report] provides that the MDA must report on organic agriculture every five years instead of every two years and simplifies the reporting requirements.
Sections 34 to 39 [Dairy Research, Teaching, and Consumer Education Authority] provides of the creation of the Dairy Research, Teaching, and Consumer Education Authority governed by a board of directors to operate a dairy research and teaching facility.
Section 40 [Quarantine zones] removes limitations on quarantine zones ordered by the Board of Animal Health to restrict the movement of livestock when an emergency is declared for a disastrous animal disease.
Section 41 [Restrictions on movement] modifies the Board of Animal Health’s authority to restrict movement when an emergency is declared for a disastrous animal disease.
Section 42 [Agricultural land preservation program report] makes the agricultural land preservation program report a biennial report due by March 1 of each even-numbered year.
Section 43 [Biofuel blender pumps] allows for grants for biofuel blender pumps under the agricultural growth, research, and innovation (AGRI) program.
Section 44 [AGRI program extension] extends the sunset date of the AGRI program another two years to 2015.
Section 45 [Powers of the RFA] adds the ability to accept money or property to the powers of the Rural Finance Authority (RFA).
Section 46 [Agroforestry loan program; repayments] provides that repayments of agroforestry loans will be deposited in the RFA revolving loan account instead of the agroforestry loan revolving fund, which is being repealed in this act.
Section 47 [Livestock equipment loan program] removes the word “pilot” from the description of the livestock equipment loan program.
Section 48 [Pilot agricultural microloan program]
Subd. 1 [Establishment] directs the RFA to establish a pilot agricultural microloan program and provides that the RFA may contract with intermediaries for the program.
Subd. 2 [Definitions] defines “intermediary,” “specialty crops,” and “eligible livestock” for the purposes of the Microloan program.
Subd. 3 [Eligibility] provides for eligibility for the microloan program that requires the borrowers to be either a member of a protected group under state personnel laws (Minnesota Statutes, section 43A.02, subdivision 33) or eligible immigrant under medical assistance laws (Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.06, subdivision 4, paragraph (b)). Minnesota Statutes, section 43A.02, subdivision 33, reads:
“Subd. 33.Protected groups.
For affirmative action purposes, "protected groups" means females, persons with disabilities, and members of the following minorities: Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan native.”
Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.06, subdivision 4, paragraph (b), reads:
“(b) "Qualified noncitizen" means a person who meets one of the following immigration criteria:
(1) admitted for lawful permanent residence according to United States Code, title 8;
(2) admitted to the United States as a refugee according to United States Code, title 8, section 1157;
(3) granted asylum according to United States Code, title 8, section 1158;
(4) granted withholding of deportation according to United States Code, title 8, section 1253(h);
(5) paroled for a period of at least one year according to United States Code, title 8, section 1182(d)(5);
(6) granted conditional entrant status according to United States Code, title 8, section 1153(a)(7);
(7) determined to be a battered noncitizen by the United States Attorney General according to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, title V, of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill, Public Law 104-200;
(8) is a child of a noncitizen determined to be a battered noncitizen by the United States Attorney General according to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, title V, of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill, Public Law 104-200; or
(9) determined to be a Cuban or Haitian entrant as defined in section 501(e) of Public Law 96-422, the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980.”
In addition, the borrowers must be legal residents, plan to grow or raise and market specialty crops or eligible livestock, and demonstrate the ability to repay the loan.
Subd. 4 [Loans] provides that:
the maximum loan is 70 percent of the value of the crop or livestock up to$10,000;
the interest rate will be determined by the RFA
the loan may not be used for refinancing existing debt;
the loan may be disbursed over a period not to exceed six years; and
security for the loan will be a personal note and any other security required by the RFA or the intermediary.
Section 49 [RFA revolving loan account] adds agroforestry and agricultural microloan programs to the loans that can be made from the RFA revolving loan account.
Section 50 [Treatment of loans from the Department of Agriculture] expands certain treatment of bank loan requirements to all loans from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Section 51 [Public grain warehouse operator; grain buyer’s law] adds certain feed processing plants that receive and store grain to the definition of a “public grain warehouse operator” for the purposes of the grain buyer’s law.
Section 52 [Grain buyer’s license] removes references to the different types of grain buyer’s licenses and removes the commissioner providing application forms for the license.
Section 53 [Grain buyer’s bond] provides that a licensed grain buyer’s bond will be based on the gross annual grain purchase report and not on the financial statement of the licensed grain buyer. This section also requires that grain buyer’s bonds must be continuous until cancelled, upon 90 days written notice to the MDA.
Section 54 [Grain buyer’s financial statements] removes the provision that the grain buyer’s financial statement will be used for the purpose of determining the amount required for the bond.
Section 55 [Grain buyer’s violations] removes specific enforcement actions for violations of a licensed grain buyer that will be covered under the general enforcement provisions of the MDA as modified in this bill.
Sections 56 and 57 [Grain banks] remove references to grain banks and grain bank operators under definitions related to public grain warehouses.
Section 58 [Public grain warehouse operator; grain storage law] adds certain feed processing plants that receive and store grain to the definition of a “public grain warehouse operator” for the purposes of the grain storage law.
Section 59 [Technical] makes technical changes to the grain buyers and storage account.
Section 60 [Public grain warehouse bond requirements] provides statutory bond amounts for public grain warehouses based on the annual average storage liability.
Section 61 [Statement of grain in storage] provides for an annual report on annual average liability of all grain, instead of the monthly reports required under current law. This section also makes failure to file an annual report a violation.
Section 62 [Bond disbursement] eliminates the "condition two bond" that allowed for payment of the purchase price instead of grain delivery.
Section 63 [Scale tickets] adds weight, volume, kind of grain, and signature of the warehouse operator to the information that must be on scale tickets of a grain warehouse operator.
Sections 64 and 65 [Technical] make technical changes that update certain provisions relating to grain warehouses.
Section 66 [Technical] provides for required “examinations” of public grain warehouses instead of “audits.”
Section 67 [Financial reports] provides that grain buyers only need to provide copies of financial reports to the Department of Agriculture upon request.
Sections 68 and 69 [Firewood labeling] expand harvest location labeling requirements to all firewood sold.
Section 70 [Biodiesel blending exceptions] extends the current exceptions for using biodiesel blends for three years and adds an exception for U.S. Coast Guard vessels and certain vessels inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Section 71 [Biodiesel annual report] directs the MDA, in consultation with the Commissioner of Commerce and the Biodiesel Fuel, to study the need to continue biofuel blending exception and include recommendations in the 2014 biodiesel report.
Section 72 [20 percent ethanol] extends the provision requiring 20 percent ethanol in gasoline after a federal waiver is obtained for two years.
Section 73 [Seized animals] recodifies certain seized animal provisions in the stray animals chapter that are being repealed in chapter 35. The recodified provisions do not include requirements to make unredeemed animals available for research.
Sections 74 and 75 [Technical] relate to technical changes in recodifying the seized animal provisions.
Section 76 [Wind easements] extends the effective date to June 1, 2017, for a 2008 law that will eliminate a seven-year “use-it-or-lose-it” provision on wind easements.
Section 77 [Mental health counseling; 2010 appropriation] modifies a 2010 Second Special Session appropriation to allow broader use of money appropriated for mental health counseling for agricultural producers related to natural disasters.
Section 78 [Effective date; Laws 2011] makes 2011 changes to disposal of farm waste effective retroactively to April 16, 2011.
Section 79 [Steele County; CIP bonding authority] allows Steele County to include up to $650,000 in bonding for fairground improvements under their capital improvement program (CIP).
Section 80 [Wadena County; CIP] allows Wadena County to include up to $1 million in bonding for fairground improvements under their capital improvement program (CIP).
Section 81 [NextGen biofuel blends] directs the NextGen Board to include in its 2013 report an analysis of next generation biofuels that can be blended with gasoline.
Section 82 [Balance transfer] transfers the balance from the agroforestry loan fund to the RFA revolving loan account and abolishes the agroforestry loan fund.
Section 83 [Repealer]
Paragraph (a) repeals Minnesota Statutes, sections:
17B.01 to 17B.29 – State grain inspection chapter;
27.19, subdivisions 2 and 3 – Wholesale produce dealer violations;
35.243 – Brucellosis in cattle;
35.255 – Pseudorabies program rules;
35.71, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 – Animal seizure;
35.72, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 – Milk or cream testing by the Board of Animal Health;
41B.048, subdivision 7 – Agroforestry revolving loan fund;
223.16, subdivision 7 – Definition of "independent grain buyer;”
223.18 – Grain buyer’s license penalties;
232.21, subdivision 4 – Definition of “condition one bond;”
232.24, subdivision 3 – Schedule of inspection under the grain storage law;
232.25 – Penalties under the grain storage law;
233.01 to 233.233.33 – Public terminal warehouse chapter;
234.01 to 234.27 – Grain storage on farms chapter;
235.01 to 235.18 – General provisions on grain chapter;
236.01 to 236.09 – Grain banks chapter; and
395.14 to 395.24 – County seed and feed loans.
Paragraph (b) repeals provisions in Minnesota Rules that are codified in statute or the statute is repealed in this bill. The paragraph repeals Minnesota Rules, parts:
1505. 0780 – Wild nursery stock;
1505.0810 – Balled and burlapped nursery stock;
1511.0100 to 1511.0170 – Rule chapter on grain standards testing;
1562.0100, subparts 3 to 25 – Grain buyers definitions;
1562.0200 – Grain buyers licensing;
1562.0400 – Grain buyer, grain storage, grain bank license descriptions;
1562.0700 – Grain buyers bond specifications;
1562.0900 – Statement of grain in storage;
1562.1300 – Scale ticket; and
1562.1800 – Grain buyers, grain storage, and grain bank bon descriptions.
FOOD LAW ENFORCEMENT
Article 2 establishes a new chapter (34A) in Minnesota Statutes to enforce Minnesota’s food laws, except for commercial feed and dairy.
Sections 1 to 6, and 8 to 22 [Technical] delete language that will be recodified for the food chapters that are being recodified in the new chapter 34A. Section 2 also deletes language of the decision of the administrative law judge report being the decision of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
Section 7 [Food Safety and Defense Task Force; expiration date] extends the Food Safety and Defense Task Force another five years to 2017.
Section 23 [Definitions] contains the recodified definitions that will apply to all human food laws.
Section 24 [Exclusions] recodify the current food law exclusions from what is a perishable food, readily perishable food, and frozen food.
Section 25 [Adulteration] recodifies the adulteration provisions from the food law that will apply to all human food. Subdivision 2 of this section also recodifies specific adulterants that are applicable to only commercial feed.
Section 26 [Misbranding] recodifies the misbranding provisions from the food law that will apply to all human food.
Section 27 [Enforcement] provides for the enforcement powers of the Commissioner of Agriculture that will apply to all human food, except for commercial feed and dairy. This section is modeled after enforcement powers granted for pesticides and fertilizers.
Section 28 [False statement or record] provides that knowingly providing a false statement or record is a violation that will apply to all human food, except for commercial feed and dairy. This section is modeled after the same violation for pesticides and fertilizers.
Section 29 [Administrative actions] provides for the administrative enforcement of all human food laws, except for commercial food and dairy. This section is modeled after the same administrative actions for pesticides and fertilizers and includes license revocation, suspension, and refusal.
Section 30 [Administrative penalties] recodifies the current ability of the Commissioner of Agriculture to assess administrative penalties for violations of food laws, except for commercial feed and dairy. The maximum amount for a first violation is increased to $1,500 from $1,000 to be the same as the amount for pesticides and fertilizers.
Section 31 [Appeal of administrative actions] provides for an appeal process for administrative actions, including administrative penalties, taken by the Commissioner of Agriculture for food law violations, except for commercial feed and dairy.
Section 32 [Civil penalties] establishes the ability of the Commissioner of Agriculture to enforce food laws, except for commercial feed and dairy, including a maximum fine of $7,500 per day, as determined by the court. This section is modeled after the civil penalty authority for pesticide and fertilizer violations.
Section 33 [Criminal penalties] recodifies the current misdemeanor penalty for conviction of a violation of food laws, except for commercial feed and dairy. This section also provides for gross misdemeanor penalties for convictions of violations that endanger humans or animals and for knowing violations.
Section 34 [Embargo seizure, and condemnation] recodifies the current authority for embargo and condemnation powers for violation of the state food law. The seizure provisions apply only to meat and are recodified from the state meat law. This section will apply to food laws, except for commercial feed and dairy.
Section 35 [Powers of the commissioner] provides for the powers of the Commissioner of Agriculture to investigate potential violations of food laws, except for commercial feed and dairy. This section also provides for misdemeanor penalties for refusing to answer a lawful inquiry or willfully providing false information.
Section 36 [Repealer] repeals statutory provisions that are recodified in the bill and related rule provisions.