State Rep. Julie Alexander, chairwoman of the Michigan House Committee on Agriculture, and state Sen. Kevin Daley, chairman of the Michigan Senate Committee on Agriculture, will host a joint hearing Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Michigan State University to listen to the concerns of farmers and agricultural stakeholders as the industry navigates a difficult time.
Michigan’s growing season began with the wettest 12-month period in the state’s history — allowing only 68% of the corn crop and 70% of the soybean crop to be planted. In addition, the industry has faced global economic pressures and financial stress.
“Our goal is to bring all stakeholders and experts to the table to discuss the scope of the issues, review options available to producers, and identify available assistance,” says Alexander, of Hanover, Mich. “This season has strained our state’s family farms and farming communities, and we must do everything possible to support them. We are asking those testifying to share their knowledge, concerns and available services in hopes of putting together a comprehensive strategy to help Michigan’s agricultural industry.”
According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, agriculture is Michigan’s second-largest economic sector, contributing about $104.7 billion in economic activity generated by more than 47,000 farms and associated processors.
“Rains and flooding have devastated cropland all over the state, compounding the economic stresses facing our state’s agricultural sector,” says Daley, of Lum, Mich. “For Michigan’s economy to continue to thrive, we must make the essential investments and provide the necessary supports to our farming communities. It is my hope that this hearing will bring to the forefront concrete steps we can take to do so.”
The Joint House and Senate Agriculture Committee hearing will be from 9 a.m. to noon at Michigan State University Pavilion, 4301 Farm Lane, East Lansing.