Vote for Friends of Agriculture in the Nov. 6 general election. Review our complete list of farm-friendly candidates at www.michfb.com/endorsements.
If you’re heading to the polls in Kent County, be sure to show your support for Friend of Agriculture and current State Representative Chris Afendoulis as he vies for the 29th District Senate seat occupied by the term-limited Sen. Dave Hildenbrand. The district covers the southeast portion of Kent County and the city of Grand Rapids.
If elected, Afendoulis says his priorities for the state include continued infrastructure investment by utilizing state surplus funds when available, job training opportunities and improving education outcomes.
“In the next few years we will have so many people retiring, it’s important we connect people with these jobs. We can’t grow as a state until we start expanding our workforce” Afendoulis said. “Agriculture is a great example. I think it’s important to provide the funding and resources necessary to schools to help people understand that agriculture is a viable career option.”
When asked about what role local government should play in agriculture, his response was simple, and aligns with many county Farm Bureau members’ beliefs.
“Stay out of the way as best you can,” Afendoulis replied. “You’ve got to have statewide policies when it comes to farming, the environment, wages and benefits, and I don’t think we should be setting local rules that affect agriculture.”
“We also want to be vigilant when it comes to regulations so that what we’re doing is supported by science – that’s the crucial thing.”
He also shared why he believes farmers should show him support on Election Day.
“I’ve got a strong voting record supporting Farm Bureau issues. I’m a small business owner and I recognize a farm is there to make a living for its owner,” Afendoulis explained. “It’s a huge industry for Michigan and we’ve got to make sure we’re doing what we can as policymakers to support the agriculture industry. It’s pretty amazing what we have here and we want to protect farms as stable and solvent businesses and keep encouraging careers in farming.”