Value-added agriculture, farm mental health, and more options for affordable housing — features Republicans highlight in a 258-million-dollar agriculture/rural development/housing bill the Minnesota Senate passed last night (Tues). There’s also money for expanding broadband Internet access in Greater Minnesota and Elbow Lake Senator Torrey Westrom says:

“30 million dollars is a strong investment.   The governor’s got 70 million (in his budget), but that’s only coupled with significant tax increases. And so we don’t have tax increases to back-fill further investment. We use existing funds.”

Westrom says the bill also includes loans and grants to help small farms upgrade technology, and funding for a “soybean innovation campus” in Crookston.