Minnesota lawmakers Senator Tina Smith (D) and Representative Brad Finstad (R) have both spoken highly of the bi-partisan proposal to introduce the “Agriculture Skills Preparation for Industry Recruitment Efforts,” or ASPIRE Act, to help ease the labor shortage affecting the agriculture industry.

The legislation, which is bipartisan and inter-chamber, would create an apprenticeship-based training program within the USDA’s existing farm development program. Senator Smith noted that the program would make it possible for more individuals to get jobs in the agriculture industry, with training programs now being made available in schools across the country.

Representative Finstad commented that the bill reflects the importance of Minnesota agriculture on a national scale. At ISG Field in Mankato, hundreds of people joined together to celebrate the industry at Greenseam’s Celebration of Ag, discussing the successes over the last year and applauding the connections that make up Minnesota’s agriculture.

The ASPIRE Act is making progress in Congress, and lawmakers are hoping the positive steps taken will add to the reasons to celebrate the industry.


Joshua Kafka