The Minnesota House has passed the omnibus agriculture policy bill. One of the most controversial measures in the bill is a proposal to protect feedlot operations from nuisance lawsuits. Representative John Lesch, who represents St. Paul, said this becomes a private property rights issue. “What happens to my property as a farmer if I can’t sell it because of the stench, runoff or the dust or some other impact from that operation from out-of-state is impacting my property value as a Minnesota farmer? What happens next?” Agriculture Finance Committee Chairman Rod Hamilton said small farms and large publicly-traded operations already have this liability protection. The new language would only expand that protection to farms of all sizes. Representative Tony Cornish of Vernon Center said this bill was an attack on agriculture. The agriculture policy bill also increases the maximum net worth for those utilizing Rural Finance Authority loans. It modifies the debt limit for those farmers participating in mediation and makes changes to the structure of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.