After the 2014 elections, the legislative session was supposed to be all about rural. Brad Finstad, CEO of the Center for Rural Policy and Development, goes over how various rural issues came out.
Brad Finstad, CEO of the Center, reviews the 2015 Minnesota state legislative session: there were moments of compromise and constructive deal-making but also gridlock, and the deadline still passed with the promise of a special session and with no substantive solution to the pressing issue of transportation funding.
In the third part of our conversation about the avian flu, we talk with Kent Thiesse, farm management analyst for MinnStar Bank and longtime Extension agent, about the official response to avian flu, figuring out where it’s coming from, and whether the outbreak means changes to county fairs and the State Fair later this year.
And an update from the MN State Fair (www.mnstatefair.org):
Minnesota State Fair Cancels 2015 Open Class and 4-H Poultry Shows
ST. PAUL, MINN. (05/15/2015) — The Minnesota State Fair has canceled its poultry shows for the 2015 Great Minnesota Get-Together. The cancellations are in response to the directive issued by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
For the 2015 State Fair, the Poultry Barn will feature interactive displays and presentations about Minnesota’s poultry industry and its huge contribution to the state’s economy.
Throughout its 160-year history, State Fair livestock shows have been modified, restricted, and even canceled for animal health reasons. The most recent occurrence was in April of 2014 when no regional horses were displayed during the Minnesota Horse Expo due to an equine virus.
The State Fair works closely on animal health issues with a variety of agencies and veterinary experts. For decades, these groups have included the Board of Animal Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Minnesota 4-H and FFA and a variety of animal producers associations.
Further information on the H5N2 highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is available at the Minnesota Board of Animal Health’s website: www.bah.state.mn.us.
This week on Rural MN Radio, we’re continuing our conversation with Kent Thiesse, farm management analyst for MinnStar Bank, on the impact of the avian flu epidemic on our poultry farmers and the communities where they live. While there’s no threat to humans, the economic fallout for communities could be serious.
Avian flu has hit Minnesota like a Mac truck this spring, affecting dozens of producers and millions of birds. For the next three weeks, we’ll be talking with Kent Thiesse, farm management analyst and vice president at MinnStar Bank in Mankato and a long-time Extension agent, on just where the avian flu is hitting hardest and what it means for producers, consumers, and rural communities.