Agriculture is a booming industry in Michigan. In fact, it’s Michigan’s second-largest industry, accounting for more than $91 billion of the state’s economy each year.
Whether it’s fruits and vegetables, livestock and dairy or nursery and landscape, the agriculture industry in Michigan is all around us — and with nearly 22 percent of all jobs in our state, it’s one of our biggest employers as well.
The House Agriculture Committee is committed to upholding that heritage in our state, and it has considered and passed a number of important pieces of legislation so far this session, including:
- Updating and modernizing laws to better serve the needs of the potato industry (Public Act 202 of 2013)
- Eliminating burdensome regulations for roadside stands, allowing farmers to sell their produce directly to customers (PA 125’13)
- Updating the definitions of “natural fertilizer” to include plant-based materials and avoid confusion (PA 151’13)
- Amending the General Property Tax Act to take into account sales of farmland that will be used for non-agricultural purposes (PA 162’13)
- Creating a crop damage kill permits for bear, similar to deer crop damage permits (House Bill 5226)
- Allowing for butcher shops and meat processors to produce wild game sausage for their customers when the sausage is for personal use (HB 5195)
Many more bills are still before the committee for consideration — including measures to allow old barns to be used for wedding receptions and create oversight on oil-change facilities — each with the goal of moving Michigan’s agricultural industry forward.
Our state’s agricultural industry is both firmly rooted and still growing, and House Republicans know that if we want to keep reaping the benefits, we must continue to support our farms and farmers.
After all, a healthy ag industry helps to ensure a brighter future.