Michigan Department of Agriculture gets boost while state undergoes cuts
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed the 2021 budget which Michigan Farm Bureau says was positive for agriculture.
State legislative counsel Rebecca Park tells Brownfield the state cut about $250 million of the 2021 budget to make up for deficits left after Federal COVID assistance but the Department of Agriculture was spared.
“For agriculture specifically, we actually saw a 13 percent increase in general funds.”
Park says the additional funding is earmarked for Conservation Reserve Programs, IT upgrades within the department, food safety upgrades, and the industrial hemp program.
She says the pandemic as also put a renewed focus on broadband and the importance of ag processing.
“I’ve not seen dollars quite yet flow in this conversation but I will say there is a renewed interest in what does this picture look like so that we don’t have the same bottleneck situation that occurred in 2020.”
The 2021 state budget also includes $900,000 for double up food bucks, $2.5 million for the food and ag investment program, about $500,000 for county fairs, and $3 million for the Michigan Animal Agriculture Alliance.