Michigan Farm Bureau’s member-developed policy supports strategic investments in the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) with funding priorities including food safety, regulatory program oversight, animal and plant disease protection, producer security, integrity of agricultural products, market access inspections, statistics and information, and industry & trade advocacy.
These guide the organization’s position and decision-making as we advocate for funding during the annual state budget process.
Governor Whitmer’s executive budget recommendation proposes a 1.1% increase from the prior fiscal year for MDARD and reflects general, restricted, and federal funds. The House & Senate appropriations committees and subcommittees are crafting their individual budget recommendations for consideration.
Major changes being proposed by the Governor that are of interest to agriculture include:
$37.5 million to support the agriculture and food industry supply chain, including accessibility of cold storage, distribution and processing facilities, and implementation of advanced technologies.
$10 million for “MI Climate Smart Farming” to assist farmers in implementing practices to reduce soil disturbance, maximize crop diversity, sequester carbon, and reduce sediment and nutrient runoff.
$6.2 million to identify, respond to, and mitigate emerging contaminates, including PFAS, affecting agriculture and related food industries.
$5 million to help continue implementing practices that separate livestock from wildlife.
MFB is working with representatives, senators and MDARD leaders to understand the purpose and goals of the new line items.
Existing programs recommended to receive continued funding include the Michigan Animal Agriculture Alliance ($3 million), agricultural preservation easement grants ($1.9 million), local conservation districts ($2 million), and agriculture development ($13 million) which includes items like the Fair Food Network Double Up Food Bucks program, food and agriculture investment grants, Michigan Craft Beverage Council, and producer security program.
Within higher education, the Governor is recommending a 4 percent increase for MSU AgBio Research and MSU Extension programs.
There are three additional areas Michigan Farm Bureau would like to see addressed:
Among many industry partners, MFB is supporting a $16 million state funding request to enhance plant-based commodity education, outreach, and research of technologies that promote environmental sustainability. Learn more
Agricultural Workforce Funding
MFB supports efforts to continue addressing the farm employee shortage by pursuing reinstatement of a grant program that helps farms maintain high quality housing and build additional housing for workers.
Supporting Beginning Farmers
MFB supports creation of a beginning farmer tax credit or grant program where the tax credit or grant could be applied to an established farmer who rents or allows purchase of any agricultural asset to a new farmer.
Senate Bill 11 was introduced by Rep. Joe Bellino, Jr. on Jan. 12 to support this effort. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance, Insurance and Consumer Protection Committee.