- Agriculture is a crucial part of Michigan’s economy.
- Agriculture legislation should reflect the breadth and depth of our agricultural sector, including Michigan’s important specialty crops, and provide strong government support for agriculture research.
- Biofuels can play a key role in reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and we should support research and development in this growing industry.
Michigan is known for quality cars and stunning Great Lakes, but less well known is the fact that agriculture is our state’s second biggest industry. Michigan produces a greater variety of crops than all but two states, ranging from corn and soybeans to tart cherries, apples, beans, blueberries, asparagus and other specialty crops.
Since coming to the Senate, I have worked to support the state’s diverse agriculture. I supported the inclusion of new programs to promote specialty crops in the 2008 farm bill. As the next farm is drafted, I continue to support those programs, including federal research on specialty crops and purchases of fruits and vegetables for school lunch programs. In addition, I will work to ensure important programs that encourage environmental stewardship in farming are included in the new farm bill. Our state is also an important hub for agricultural research, and I continue to support strong funding for science that makes food safer, more affordable and more secure.
Michigan's farmers are also at the forefront of alternative fuel production, which is essential to breaking our dependence on foreign oil. With our excellent university system and significant private- sector investment, Michigan is positioned to play a major role in future biofuels research and development, including cellulosic ethanol, and I will continue to advocate for strong support of this vital and growing industry.
Senator Levin’s Record on Agriculture
- Dec. 21, 2011 – Levin hails successful recovery of gray wolves
Sen. Levin welcomes an announcement by the Department of the Interior that the once-threatened gray wolf population in the Great Lakes region has recovered so well that the wolf no longer requires protection through the Endangered Species Act, saying, "Today’s announcement demonstrates that this important environmental statute and science-based decision making work."
- October 9, 2009 - Sen. Levin helps win funding for bovine TB fight
Senator Levin works with Senator Stabenow to obtain money for USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to fight bovine tuberculosis in Michigan. This funding assists current staffing levels and funds survey and eradication activities.
- 2009 - Sen. Levin helps promote purchase of Michigan crops
Senator Levin successfully advocates for additional purchases of specialty crops such as apples, blueberries and grapes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Commodity Purchase Program. This program not only provides assistance to Michigan farmers but also to school children and those who participate in our nation’s vital food nutrition programs.
- May 2008 - Sen. Levin supports bill to boost Michigan agriculture
Senator Levin supports the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill), which includes significantly more support for specialty crop growers than has been included in past farm legislation.
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