Nearly 30 commodity and farm-related organizations hosted the 16th annual Ag Day at the Capitol March 11 in downtown Lansing. Designed to put the depth and diversity of the state’s agriculture sector into perspective for legislators through food and fact-sharing, this year’s theme was a perfect fit: “Michigan agriculture: food for thought.”
Farm Bureau members, agribusiness representatives and FFA students delivered baskets of Michigan-produced snacks and informational material to House and Senate offices as well as to directors of the state agencies governing agriculture, the environment and natural resources.
“This event is important because it keeps agriculture on the radar…and shows our appreciation,” said Caitlin Carpenter, a member of the Ingham County Farm Bureau. “Every office was happy to have us there and they were very open to listening to what we had to say — which says a lot about the significance of our organization and our industry.
“I appreciated the opportunity to be face-to-face with these decision-makers because I want to become more involved politically in my community and our industry.”
After the basket deliveries, participating organizations hosted an impressive exhibit inside the Capitol. Representatives, senators and legislative staff tasted Michigan-made food while learning about challenges and opportunities within individual sectors like livestock, row crops, fruit and vegetables, processing and more.
A popular highlight of Food and Agriculture Month, Ag Day at the Capitol precedes National Ag Day on March 24.
Organizations contributing to the baskets and exhibits this year included:
Dairy Farmers of America
GreenStone Farm Credit Services
Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program
Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Inc.
Michigan Apple Committee
Michigan Aquaculture Association
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
Michigan Association of Conservation Districts
Michigan Bean Commission
Michigan Beekeepers Association
Michigan Cattlemen's Association
Michigan Cherry Committee
Michigan Christmas Tree Association
Michigan Corn Growers Association
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Michigan Farm Bureau
Michigan Farmers Market Association
Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council
Michigan Meat Association
Michigan Pork Producers Association
Michigan Potato Industry Commission
Michigan Sheep Processors Association
Michigan Soybean Association
Michigan State Horticultural Society
Michigan State College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Michigan Sugar Company
Michigan Tree Fruit Commission
Michigan Vegetable Council
Michigan Wheat Program
The Blueberry Store