Michigan Agriculture On The Uprise, Farmers Still Face Challenges

As a way to say “thank you” for their hard work during the pandemic, Gary McDowell, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, is touring processors all over the state.

“These are the processors who buy Michigan food, Michigan-grown products… and that really helps our economy, helps our local farmers, helps our communities, and helps our rural part of the state,” said McDowell.

Like many other businesses, farmer’s and processors took a hit during the pandemic. Although the industry is on the rise, some challenges remain. One of them is the increasing price of fertilizer.

“It is going up, it’s just part of coming out of the pandemic,” McDowell said. “All the supply chain issues and that.”

Owner and Founder of Grand Traverse Distillery, Kent Rabish, said this year has been a success despite some of the challenges with COVID and supply issues.

“This year has been fantastic,” said Rabish. “Think because of tourism, a lot of people maybe aren’t leaving the country. They’re hanging here.”

McDowell said he and his team are looking to the future. They are working to promote Michigan Agriculture and helping processors.

“We just went through the worst pandemic in 100 years. Now, we have the opportunity to rebuild our infrastructure, our economy in this state,” McDowell said.