U.S. Senate candidate John James visited with Jackson County Farm Bureau members at Weir Farms in Horton on June 22 as part of his statewide "Neglected Neighborhoods and Forgotten Farms" Tour to share his ideas for putting more Michiganders on the path to prosperity. The tour was hosted by Jackson County Farm Bureau member Bruce Weir.
Along with a tour of the 600-cow dairy and row crop family farm, James took the opportunity to hear from several on-hand to learn about what can be done to help Michigan’s farmers grow and succeed, even amid tough economic times.
“What brought me out to Weir Farms today is the fact that Michigan is a great and diverse state and agriculture is the number two industry,” James said. “There are so many things that link us together as people, the biggest is that we have the same concerns about our families, the same concerns about the people we love and the same concerns about business.”
It was the first time for Bruce Weir to meet Mr. James, who recently received Michigan Farm Bureau’s AgriPac endorsement for U.S. Senate, as a Friend of Agriculture.
“I was very impressed with Mr. James, as it was obvious that he’s sensitive to concerns of agriculture and to business as a whole,” Weir said. “We talked about issues related to agriculture and non-ag issues as well. One of those was the new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and the importance of having free and fair trade. And from his military experience, he has a broad knowledge of how government works and the bureaucracy that comes with it.”
Michigan Farm Bureau Board of Director Jennifer Lewis was on-hand for the event. Lewis, a dairy farmer from Jonesville in Hillsdale County, was pleased with Mr. James’s sincere interest in the concerns facing agriculture.
“Along with discussing the challenges farmers are facing with labor, he was interested in what’s involved with generational transfers of a farm, along with difficulties dairy producers continue to deal with,” Lewis said. “And he was quite surprised about the cost of starting up a new farming operation, along with the cost of equipment. Mr. James told us he was there today to listen and learn so he can go to Washington and do things to help us succeed.”
Before departing the farm, James didn’t hesitate to take Bruce Weir up on an offer to drive the John Deere 8700i chopper. According to Weir, James felt at home with the high-tech controls, indicating it was not unlike flying Apache helicopters during his time in the military while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Out on this beautiful, kind of hot, Michigan summer day, I was just excited to learn more about dairy and some of the headwinds that business in the agriculture industry are facing and how I can better help as a Senator in the future,” James said.
Photos from Mr. James’s visit to Weir Farms can be viewed here.