Wednesday, January 19, 2011

State of the State- Michigan's Big Comeback!

I totally missed the State of the State tonight. I honestly don't even know if was aired on one of our 12 stations that we get but I was too busy with Spelling and Book Reports at that point anyway but oh well....
What reports I have seen so far are really really exciting!
Our new Governor Snyder not only mentioned AGRICULTURE but actually praised, promoted, supported, encouraged- you get the idea- he recognized that agriculture has been a bright spot in Michigan's economy and one of the few industries that has grown throughout these tough times.
Just to remind you of the kind of reports Michigan Agriculture was used to hearing out of the Governor's office feel free to check out a blog post I wrote last March about Michigan Meatout Day. Needless to say, there really wasn't an ag-friendly feeling coming from Lansing then. And that is why it is so refreshing and exciting to hear this kind of stuff in the State of the State address tonight:

- Michigan residents will have access to a new website that will provide us with both transparency and accountability.

- and my favorite part, an excerpt from Michigan Farm Bureau's Press Release (I pasted the entire thing below too)-
Snyder backed up his respect for agriculture by vowing in his address to work with the state Legislature on making the nationally acclaimed Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) part of state statute, a longtime policy goal of MFB.

SwissLane Dairy completed our MAEAP in 2007. We are big fans of this program because it is voluntary and incentive based. Rather than more regulation and over-reaching authority this actually creates a partnership between farmers and government. We actually worked together and came up with solutions!

Michigan is not just a place to live for our family. This is our heritage and our legacy. We can't wait to be a part of the Comeback!

Michigan Farm Bureau Press Release:
Snyder's emphasis on agriculture, proactive environmental stewardship puts Michigan on right course

LANSING, Jan. 19, 2011 - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder did not disappoint in his first state of the state address Wednesday evening. The Governor clearly demonstrated that he is a leader who "gets it" when it comes to reforming government and building on the state's agricultural strengths to help revitalize Michigan.

"Gov. Rick Snyder once again validated why he earned the AgriPac Friend of Agriculture endorsement and the support of thousands of Farm Bureau families in his election campaign," said Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) President Wayne H. Wood. "As he expressed in his address, the Governor is sincere in his passion for agriculture's role in Michigan's economic recovery and he is fully committed to reforming government and revitalizing our state."

MFB, the state's largest general farm organization, was particularly pleased that Snyder recognized agriculture as an integral component to growing jobs and furthering economic development in Michigan.

The agri-food and agri-energy industry, encompassing conventional agriculture and the many supporting industries ranging from food processing and trucking to grocery store sales, is a $71.3 billion - and growing - industry in Michigan which employs about 1 million people, roughly a quarter of the state's work force. Studies indicate that agriculture has been expanding at a rate five times faster than the growth rate of the general economy in recent years.

"Agriculture is as relevant to Michigan today as it was at the turn of the century and Governor Snyder not only recognizes this fact but embraces it," said Wood.

"For instance, Snyder recently made rural development a function of the Michigan Department of Agriculture," said Wood. "This is a progressive step, as agriculture is one of the largest contributors to economic growth in Michigan's rural communities."

Snyder backed up his respect for agriculture by vowing in his address to work with the state Legislature on making the nationally acclaimed Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) part of state statute, a longtime policy goal of MFB.

"Throughout his campaign Snyder talked about 'outcomes- and results-based government,' so to have the Governor formally acknowledge that MAEAP meets his high standards for a streamlined, effective and performance-based program is a crowning achievement for MAEAP and one that the Michigan Farm Bureau looks forward to working with the state Legislature to implement," said Wood.

Currently housed within the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MAEAP is a voluntary, incentive-driven program which helps farmers of all sizes and commodities proactively minimize and/or eliminate agricultural pollution risks on their farms by teaching them how to identify and address those risks in compliance with state and federal environmental regulations.

"Giving MAEAP statutory teeth will help the program appeal to more farmers by providing some of the regulatory stability they are seeking to effectively operate their farms and grow jobs for Michigan families," said Wood.

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