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Ag Director Angerer: "MAEAP is on the top of my list…"

MDARD Legislative Liaison Ashley Steffen (left) and Acting Director Kathy Angerer (right) present to members of the Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee. Image credit: Michigan Senate TV
Date Posted: February 9, 2023

Acting director for the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD), Kathy Angerer, testified before the Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee on Feb. 7 where she reviewed the department’s structure and priorities for new and returning committee members.  

Following the presentation Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) asked Angerer to provide an update on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). Gov. Whitmer just last year approved legislation renewing the fertilizer and pesticide fees that fund the voluntary conservation program.  

“There’s 90-plus programs in this department — this is one of the first ones I’ve been drilling down into,” Angerer replied. “And if you look at my calendar, I want you to know it would reflect my priorities — I’ve been meeting with commodity groups, with environmental groups, with farm, agriculture all across the map.” 

“You would also see that I’m meeting with the director of this division to drill down into what’s right, what’s wrong, what needs improvement, are we retaining, are people recertifying their property, their farms – what can we do better, what can we do differently and that for me is top of the line.” 

She added that a lot of “wonderful” ideas came out of a recent MAEAP Advisory Council meeting and wants to determine if there are, “other programs that would complement this as well.”  

As the Legislature begin their work on the 2024-25 state budget, including funding for programs critical to farms and agribusinesses at MDARD, Angerer talked about the department’s focus:  

MDARD’s mission is to assure the food safety, agriculture, environmental and economic interest of the people of the State of Michigan are met through service, partnership, and collaboration. And further, has four key goals: Food safety, human and animal health; environmental sustainability; economic development; and efficient, effective government. 

She went on to explain that while she hasn’t looked into every single MDARD program since joining the department last July, she is, “drilling down into the programs to make sure they are viable and that for the taxpayers in the state of Michigan that we are achieving the results that the people are looking for.”  

House and Senate agriculture committees 

Chaired by Sen. Sue Shink (D-Northfield), committee members serving on the Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee include Sens. John Cherry (D-Flint), Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia), Kevin Daley (R-Lum), Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville) and Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton).  

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee is chaired by Sen. John Cherry (D-Flint) and includes Sens. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), Jon Bumstead (R-North Muskegon), and Lana Theis (R-Brighton). 

Chaired by Rep. Reggie Miller (D-Van Buren Twp), the House Agriculture Committee consists of Reps. Veronica Paiz (D-Harper Woods), Jerry Neyer (R-Shepherd), Lori Stone (D-Warren), Stephanie Young (D-Detroit), Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City), Emily Dievendorf (D-Lansing), John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming), Carrie Rheingans (D-Ann Arbor), Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington), John Roth (R-Green Lake Twp), Matt Bierlein (R-Vassar), and Rachelle Smit (R-Shelbyville). 

The House Agriculture & Rural Development and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Okemos) and includes Reps. Jasper Martus (D-Flushing), Ken Borton (R-Gaylord), Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton), Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit), Denise Mentzer (D-Mt. Clemens), and Gregory Alexander (R-Carsonville).   

Nicole Sevrey headshot

Nicole Sevrey

Public Policy Communications Specialist
517-679-5344 [email protected]