Michigan budget strengthens ag investments


Michigan budget strengthens ag investments

The Michigan legislature increased the state’s agriculture budget by more than 50 percent in general funding which Michigan Farm Bureau says solidifies the importance of the sector brought forth during the pandemic.

Rebecca Park tells Brownfield, “The budget process really played out well and will make investments for the agriculture industry, and be able to address some of the challenges the industry has felt in the last year and a half or so.”

The largest new investment is $25 million for a one-time pilot for the Agricultural Nutrient Best Management Voluntary Practices Program.

“To look at some of those conservation practices that farmers could put into place and then taking the next step with some cost-share and grants to help those practices get put into place,” she explains.

Department director Gary McDowell tells Brownfield the budget helps Michigan agriculture maintain a very strong position.

“We also got additional money for our county fairs, for our soil conservation districts, with animal diseases like TB, we did get some additional funds there to help our farmers, for farm stress,” he says.

A new grant program, the Farm Innovation Program, was also funded $3.1 million to help with workforce concerns along with $3 million for the Michigan Animal Agriculture Alliance and the legislature increased funding for the Double Up Food Bucks Program along with other additions.