Op-Ed By Jennifer Fike: Farm Bill is an Investment in Michigan’s Agricultural Future
Nate and Jill of Green Things Farms plan to purchase 64 acres as their first farm just north of Ann Arbor. They had help getting started at the Tillian Farm Development Center, which was has benefited from important farm bill programs like the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP). These essential programs are threatened in the current 2012 Farm Bill debate. Photo from http://greenthingsfarm.com/
As the auto industry and manufacturing sector have declined in recent times, the food and agricultural sector has risen in importance, contributing $91 billion to the state’s economy.
The United States Senate just began the full debate of their version of the farm bill, and as Jennifer points out in her article, there are threats to funding proven programs that can help boost local economies and address significant barriers beginning farmers face as they get started.