The 2018 Farm Bill supports the one in four jobs related to food and agriculture in Michigan, the state’s second-largest industry. It will provide five years of certainty for Michigan’s farmers, fuel opportunity in rural communities and grow small businesses. It continues historic investments in land, water and wildlife conservation, will grow Michigan local food economies and will support families working to make ends meet, as well as equipment manufacturers, food processing businesses, retailers and other employers. The food and agriculture sector contributes $101.2 billion to Michigan’s economy annually.
The Farm Bill also protects our Great Lakes and rivers while preserving wildlife habitat to support hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation. Strengthened regional conservation partnerships will leverage nearly $3 billion in private investment over the next decade for projects that protect the Great Lakes and improve wildlife habitat for hunting and fishing. Expanded conservation support for working farms will help farmers protect water quality and reduce nutrient runoff into the rivers and streams that feed into Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, while maintaining productive and profitable farmland.
Rural economic development initiatives attract new employers to Michigan’s small towns and rural communities through infrastructure improvements and expanded access to high-speed internet. Forest management and innovation supports 30,000 Michigan forestry jobs, including loggers and mill workers while finding new uses for Michigan-grown wood in manufacturing and building construction.
Support for farmers’ markets and food hubs helps family farmers and local businesses sell locally grown food and made-in-Michigan products to families, schools and restaurants, driving the local food economy. Historic new urban agriculture investments creates new economic opportunities and makes it easier for urban farmers to start, expand and protect their businesses.
Clean energy and efficiency upgrades help small businesses and farmers invest in wind and solar technologies that lower utility bills and support energy installation jobs. Support for bio-based manufacturing creates rural and urban manufacturing jobs by using Michigan-grown crops like corn and soybeans to make biofuels and Michigan-made goods like seat cushions and steering wheels.
New help for beginning farmers, veterans and urban agriculture creates opportunities to expand Michigan’s diverse agricultural economy and supports the future of Michigan agriculture. The Farm Bill equips Michigan farmers with risk management tools that help them stay afloat during unexpected disasters, while also allowing them to tap into new markets to boost their bottom line; expanded crop insurance improves access for veterans, beginning farmers and Michigan’s fruit and vegetable growers. Permanent export opportunities will help Michigan farmers find new global markets for their goods.
The Farm Bill includes a safety net for families. New job training opportunities will help SNAP participants find and keep good-paying jobs. Reduced paperwork for seniors makes accessing food assistance easier for grandparents on fixed incomes. A Farm to Food Bank initiative will provide healthy, Michigan-grown foods to families, while reducing food waste.
For more information, visit Tinyurl.com/2018FarmBillMichigan.