Michigan: MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams’ Statement on Saturday’s Farm Bill Hearing

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Jamie Clover Adams, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), issued the following statement regarding the Farm Bill field hearing held Saturday by the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in Frankenmuth, MI:

“I am pleased the Senate Agriculture Committee, including Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), came to Michigan today to hear directly from Michigan farmers about the challenges and opportunities they face in providing safe, affordable food for their neighbors here in Michigan, across the United States and around the world. Michigan’s farmers are the foundation of our state’s $101.2 billion food and agriculture sector, as well as important economic engines for rural Michigan.

“Field hearing participants conveyed to Senators Roberts and Stabenow (D-MI) the importance of agriculture exports. Michigan food and agriculture exports have a total annual impact of $11 billion ($2.8 billion direct, $8.2 billion indirect) on the economy and support 26,000 jobs across our state. In 2016, 83 Michigan companies utilized farm bill Market Access Program cost-share funds to increase exports by more than $99 million with a projected increase in export sales of another $63 million in the near future. Food and agriculture exports are also critical because they bolster prices for everyone in the category even if they are not exporting.

“Participants discussed the importance of affordable and effective crop insurance for Michigan farmers like our corn growers and cherry and apple producers, for example. The Committee got a great overview of the depth and breadth of production agriculture in Michigan and a firm understanding of the crop insurance needs from all corners.

“On a personal note, I would always be delighted to have Chairman Roberts come to Michigan, as I enjoyed working with him when I served as the Kansas Secretary of Agriculture. However, a visit in 2017 is especially poignant, as the devastating wildfires that hit western Kansas have forever linked the farmers and ranchers of our states. I’m glad he had an opportunity to see and hear from the people who inspired supply convoys from across Michigan to aid ranchers in western Kansas. From the devastation, the nation saw the true character of Michigan’s rural people.”

To read the entire written testimony of Director Jamie Clover Adams, click here.