Strong family farms are essential to the continued viability of rural communities and to our entire state. I will fight to provide stability and predictability, as well as new opportunities, to allow family farmers to thrive -- for this generation and the next.
Farm consolidation and development pressures are squeezing family farmers ability to compete for fair prices. We must help our farmers grow their operations and compete in the marketplace. I will work with federal partners to provide needed support and I will enforce Minnesota's corporate farm laws.
We also need to provide resources for today's farmers to grow and update their operations and allow them to pass their farms on to the next generation. We should explore tax credits and loans for farmers to create value-added, farmer-owned enterprises. We must invest in research and development on new energy and craft laws that will keep the wealth generated by the green energy economy in our local communities. I am proud to be leading the way to make Minnesota a leader in green chemistry to take plants and turn them into useful, non-toxic products. And I will make sure we invest in programs that identify and train the next generation of farmers.
Farmers also know better than anyone that we need to treat the land and other natural resources with respect. We need to support that work, providing incentives for conservation and tough, but fair, enforcement when pollution laws are violated. I will also work with farmers and others to develop a culture and infrastructure of local consumption and promotion of Minnesota grown products.
Finally, rising health care costs threaten many farm families. Farmers should not have to choose between expanding their farms and health coverage for their families. My leadership in the State House of Representatives on health care issues demonstrates the role I will take as governor to significantly improve farmers' ability to protect their families' health.