U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s campaign to serve another term in the U.S. Senate received major support today from a “who’s who list” of ten different Michigan agricultural and commodity organizations, including the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Friend of Agriculture endorsement as well as that of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, the Michigan Agri-Business Association and the Michigan Corn Growers Association.
Sen. Stabenow also received support statements from Michigan Sugar Company, Potato Growers of Michigan, Michigan Apple Association, Michigan Vegetable Council, Cherry Marketing Institute and the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association.
“I am very grateful and honored to have the support of these wonderful agricultural leaders and their members,” said Sen. Stabenow. “Because of American farmers, we have the safest, most affordable, and most abundant food supply in the world. And in Michigan, we lead the way in crop diversity and jobs, with one out of four jobs in our state tied to Michigan’s agricultural economy. I am committed to continuing my partnership with our farmers, agri-businesses and other leaders to continue growing this part of our state’s economy.”
Stabenow, the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, co-authored the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill with her Republican counterpart, Chair Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), which passed by an 86-to-11 vote margin, more than any farm bill in history. The achievement figured prominently in the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) endorsement.
According to MFB President, Carl Bednarski, a Tuscola County cash-crop farmer, Sen. Stabenow’s recognition that passage of a new 5-year Farm Bill will provide much needed certainty in the way of risk management through crop insurance for Michigan farmers and rural communities is significant, as net farm income continues to erode dramatically.
“Despite the current challenging political climate, Sen. Stabenow has found ways to put politics aside and work in a bipartisan fashion on behalf of agriculture,” Bednarski said. “Sen. Stabenow has also been a fierce advocate for Michigan specialty crops, authoring the first-ever specialty crop title in the 2008 Farm Bill and leading the charge to grow support for Michigan’s diverse fruit and vegetable industry ever since,” he continued.
According to Clinton County dairy farmer, Ken Nobis, president of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, throughout Sen. Stabenow’s service on Agriculture Committees in the Michigan legislature, U.S. House, and now as a leader in the U.S. Senate, she has consistently stood with Michigan’s farmers all across the state.
“Earlier this year, Sen. Stabenow fought for, and secured, desperately needed improvements to U.S. dairy policy directly benefitting Michigan dairy farms,” Nobis said. “This wouldn't have been possible without her leadership. As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee in 2014 and as Ranking Member today, she has built and maintained a broad bipartisan coalition to pass a Farm Bill which she likes to say has Michigan on every page.”
Sen. Stabenow’s efforts to secure $600 million in new funding to expand high-speed rural internet and for an additional $1 billion in much needed rural water infrastructure improvements in the recent bipartisan budget agreement were also recognized.
Carl Bednarski, President, Michigan Farm Bureau.
“Sen. Stabenow has fought hard to make sure the Farm Bill reflects the needs of Michigan agriculture, including our specialty crop growers. As the Chair of the Senate Ag Committee in securing passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, and in her role as Ranking Member in getting the 2018 Farm Bill finalized, her bi-partisan approach in working with Sen. Pat Roberts is widely respected.
“She has also been a champion for Michigan agricultural exports, and has cautioned trade negotiators to be mindful of uncertainty that their trade policies are creating and if trade mitigation aid is necessary, that it be equitable for all states and all commodities. She’s also advocated for farm to school efforts, creating one of the country’s best incentive programs to make sure Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and dairy are on Michigan families’ tables and served in Michigan schools.”
Ken Nobis, President, Michigan Milk Producers Association
“Sen. Stabenow has a long track record of bipartisan leadership in support of Michigan’s dairy industry. Earlier this year she negotiated enhancements to a deficient dairy safety net program so the next Farm Bill can better protect the industry. Senator Stabenow and her staff communicates with us frequently as they are formulating action affecting dairy producers.
“In these challenging economic times facing the dairy industry, she has sought to secure greater access to risk management tools and a more flexible and affordable dairy program in the Farm Bill to benefit all size dairy producers in Michigan and throughout the U.S. We greatly appreciate Senator Stabenow’s tireless efforts, understanding and commitment to address issues impacting the dairy industry.”
Jim Byrum, President, Michigan Agri-Business Association
“The Michigan Agri-Business Association is pleased to endorse Sen. Debbie Stabenow for re-election to the United States Senate. Especially now, we - agriculture - need common sense, bipartisan leadership, and Sen. Stabenow has demonstrated her ability to work across the aisle time and again to get things done. New programs that benefit Michigan agriculture such as the specialty crop block grant program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and a farm bill passed through the Senate with 86 votes proves her effectiveness, influence and commitment to agriculture.
“We will need that leadership in the years ahead as we tackle other important issues such as trade, farmer profitability and risk management. We want her to continue to represent us in the U.S. Senate.”
Matt Frostic, Chairman, Friends of Corn PAC, Michigan Corn Growers Association
“Senator Stabenow has been a staunch and consistent advocate for Michigan’s agriculture industry. We appreciate her leadership on the Farm Bill, her strong support of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and her willingness to reach out and listen to the concerns of Michigan corn farmers. We’re proud to endorse her to serve another term in the U.S. Senate.”
Rick Gerstenberger, Board Chairman, Michigan Sugar Company
“Throughout her legislative career as a State Legislator in the Michigan House and Senate and in Congress, Sen. Stabenow has always been an outstanding supporter and fierce defender of the Michigan sugar industry. In a State that is second only to California in diversity of agricultural products we are very fortunate to have Sen. Stabenow representing Michigan agriculture with her vast experience and integral knowledge of the industry.”
Mike Wenkel, Manager, Potato Growers of Michigan
“Senator Stabenow is a leading policymaker and champion for the fruit and vegetable industry in her role as Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. She has worked cooperatively with the potato industry in ensuring that sound science prevails in nutrition issues involving potatoes and the federal feeding programs. Senator Stabenow has also been a strong supporter for targeted public-private research funding to support the specialty crop industry and a leader in enhancing access for U.S. potatoes in key export markets.”
Diane Smith, Executive Director, Michigan Apple Association
“Senator Debbie Stabenow has been a tremendous champion for Michigan Agriculture. She has represented the interests of Michigan’s apple growing families for decades and has a deep understanding not only of the importance of agriculture to our state, but also the issues growers and farmers face in their work. In particular, her work on the Farm Bill has had a significant influence on the success of Michigan’s apple industry and the state’s economy. We owe a great deal to Sen. Stabenow for not only authoring the original specialty crop title in 2008, but for also continuing to fight for specialty crops.”
Greg Bird, Executive Director, Michigan Vegetable Council
“Senator Debbie Stabenow has always been a leader for Michigan and its agriculture. The Michigan Vegetable Council (MVC) needs a current Farm Bill and hopefully one will be signed this month. We have faith that Sen. Stabenow will continue the effort to bring the best agricultural solution possible to the American public. The MVC completely supports Michigan Farm Bureau’s decision to support Sen. Stabenow with MFB’s AgriPac Friend of Agriculture endorsement.”
Amy Frankmann, Executive Director, Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association
"Senator Stabenow’s experience includes the recognition of the size, scope, and diversity of Michigan agriculture. Particularly important to our members, in the nursery and landscape industry, is her in depth knowledge of the unique needs of Michigan’s specialty crops. Through this understanding, Sen. Stabenow demonstrated her commitment in her role in the implementation and funding of the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund (SCBG).
Since 2009, the SCBG fund has provided our industry with the needed research to address our critical issues and has provided support to develop opportunities that have enhanced the growth of our industry. We are grateful for her work on our behalf and are fortunate to have Sen. Stabenow’s leadership as she champions for Michigan’s specialty crop industry."
Phil Korson, Executive Director, Cherry Marketing Institute
“Michigan’s cherry growers sincerely appreciate Sen. Stabenow’s leadership in working with USDA’s Risk Management Agency to make crop insurance an option for cherry producers in 2014. This has made all the difference for our cherry industry, providing cherry farmers with a risk management tool against short crop years, due to adverse weather, and really helps them manage prices.”