Walz proposes $250K to enhance farm safety measures across Minnesota

Governor Walz addresses the media in his proposal to enhance farm safety measures.

Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced a state funding proposal of $250,000 to enhance farm safety measures across the state.

A FOX 9 investigation recently discovered that Minnesota is leading the nation in grain bin and silo accidents. Since June, there have been nine deaths and three rescues.

"It has always been a dangerous and difficult profession, and while we've made strides, there's things that we can do," Walz said at a press conference Tuesday.

The proposal includes funding for safety measures like tractor rollover protection and grain bin safety equipment. 

"We need to make sure all Minnesota farmers have access to these resources so they can work safely and prevent future tragedies," the governor said in a statement. 

According to a press release, the funds will do the following: 

  • Relaunch the Tractor Rollover Protection Grant Program, originally created by Minnesota Statute 17.119. Once reinstated, the program reimburses farmers who retrofit eligible tractors with rollover protective structures. 
  • Create a cost-share or reimbursement program for farmers who wish to invest in grain bin safety equipment. 
  • Conduct a farm safety outreach campaign highlighting tractor safety and grain bin safety and promoting the availability of this funding. 

According to the governor's office, although only about 2% of Minnesota’s workforce is engaged in agriculture, it accounted for more than 30% of workplace fatalities in 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.