ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is highlighting Minnesota in a call for a long-term bill to help the nation's farmers.
Vilsack joined state Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson and Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar on Saturday at Rail Transfer Inc. That's a St. Paul company that contributes to the state and nation's growing agricultural export business.
According to Vilsack's office, that sector is expected to generate a record $145 billion across the U.S. this year. Minnesota pumped out $6.7 billion in agricultural exports in 2011.
Congress passed a slimmed-down extension of the 2008 farm bill as part of the "fiscal cliff" deal in January, but that will expire in September.
Vilsack also spoke to Minnesota Farmers Union members alongside Gov. Mark Dayton on Saturday.