U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow Holds Meeting at MSU for 2023 Farm Bill

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow held a hearting at Michigan State University Friday on the 2023 farm bill.

“Our most recent Farm Bill passed with the strongest bipartisan support ever,” said Senator Stabenow. “Senator Boozman and I continued that strong bipartisan tradition today at this first field hearing. We heard from farmers and others impacted by the Farm Bill about how we can strengthen this important legislation, grow our economy, and meet serious new challenges facing our country. Michigan is second in the nation for our diversity of crops and home to our Great Lakes, forests and diverse communities of all sizes. Today’s witnesses and those submitting testimony provided important and insightful input as we begin the process of writing a new bill. I look forward to joining Senator Boozman for a field hearing in Arkansas to hear from stakeholders in his home state.”

Agriculture contributes to one in four jobs in Michigan. The bill helps farmers who grow a variety of crops and commodities. It helps dairy farmers have fair trade and expands farmers markets into communities. The farm bill also protects the Great Lakes and helps keep land and water clean.

Input was gathered today from farmers and agriculture leaders from across the state.

“Our region clearly has the potential to be an example of what can be done, right now, to address food security and climate change and the federal government can be assured that there is a network of organizations in place to make it happen,” Glen Chown, the Executive Director for Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy said. “We have the necessary elements to make it work: prime agricultural lands; enthusiastic skilled farmers; a direct sales and distribution network; training and mentoring programs for new and beginning farmers; and local farmers willing to serve as test sites and mentors. For all of this to successfully come together, we must have federal program and financial support. Our region has much in place, but continuing this work and ensuring we retain our agricultural lands and keep our farmers and ranchers viable hinges on a strong Farm Bill conservation title.”

Another advocate for the Farm Bill was Juliette King McAvoy from Central Lake King Orchards. She talked about how climate change is affecting the cherry orchard.

“We are on the northern cusp of growing region in Michigan and because we’re tree fruit growers, we’re that much more vulnerable to climate change,” said McAvoy.

The Farm Bill is updated about every 5 years, and the latest bill from 2018 expires next September.