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Michigan ag wants infrastructure improvements but concerned about potential cuts

While Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recent State of the State left agriculture out of the conversation, she did allude her office would prioritize drinking water and climate change issues in the coming year.

“Recent headlines about PFAS and record Great Lakes water levels and their impact on tourism, agriculture, and infrastructure speak to the magnitude and the urgency of the challenge ahead.”

Instead, she focused on roads, education, jobs, and health care.

A call for improved infrastructure is welcomed news for Michigan Agri-Business Association President Chuck Lippstreu who says the success of Michigan’s ag industry and rural economy depends on logistics and transportation infrastructure. As rural roads and bridges continue to deteriorate, they’re urging policymakers to find a solution to the state’s infrastructure.

The governor is expected to release her 2021 budget proposal next week which will give greater insight to her vision for one of the top industries in the state.

Officials at Michigan State University are concerned there will be additional cuts to ag research.  In 2020, the governor zeroed funding for the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture.  Fortunately, they say a supplemental budget bill is expected to be considered soon which should include $3 million for the program and restores other cuts made by the governor.  They are asking for 2020 funding to be restored and continued support of the state’s $5 billion animal ag industry. 

Whitmer’s 2020 proposal cut $4.7 million from the state’s ag budget.

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