Gov. Tim Pawlenty came out strongly in favor of agriculture during a speech Thursday. Not a big surprise, because he was talking to farmers at the Farmfest event near Redwood Falls.
He told the crowd that the economy won’t be strong without strong agricultural roots, but there are challenges, such as falling hog and dairy prices, said the Marshall Independent. And he said Minnesota farmers need to aggressively market their products around the world.
And the Star Tribune noted that he defended ethanol and praised wind energy at the farm event:
He defended corn-based ethanol, a fuel promoted and subsidized by the state. While it has been criticized elsewhere for driving up food prices, corn ethanol production has plenty of support in rural areas.
“It’s not perfect,” Pawlenty acknowledged, and said more research should be done on other sources of ethanol.
And the Strib said he took time to blast subsidized health care and other social services.
Noting that government programs have helped nurture wind and ethanol businesses in rural Minnesota, Pawlenty told the farmers that the rising cost of public health care and social welfare programs come at the expense of funding programs that could help the farm economy.
The Marshall paper also mentioned that:
If the state continues to increase the human services or welfare portion of the budget, it will force an increase in taxes, create an uncompetitive environment for agribusiness and slow any expansion or production of jobs, Pawlenty said.