Food and ag industry funding needs compromise

Michigan’s legislature has proposed dialing back funding for the state’s agricultural department.

As the two chambers enter conference, Senator Sue Shink, Michigan Natural Resources and Agriculture chair and vice chair of the appropriations subcommittee, tells Brownfield support for the food and ag supply chain as proposed by the governor has been divided.

“There is some there directly for that, but then also looking at pulling it out into some different buckets like the money for the smaller players in the food chain so that they can grow and develop,” she says.

While Governor Gretchen Whitmer proposed an additional $37.5 million in one-time funding for the supply chain, the House pulled back appropriations to just $2 millionThe Senate version provides $4 million to a small producer supply chain and market access program and $1.4 million for minority-owned food and agriculture ventures.

The Michigan Senate passed a $97.6 million budget for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, more than $50 million less than what the House has passed and $80 million below what the governor has proposed.

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