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Monroe’s Modern Producers make some ‘country magic’ for new legislator

New Dist. 31 Rep. Reggie Miller (on tractor steps) went to farm school recently, courtesy of Monroe County Farm Bureau’s Modern Producers Community Action Group.
Date Posted: February 14, 2023

Whenever you can bring together a group of local farmers on friendly territory — and of course provide a delicious meal — great things can happen.

Just such a bit of country magic happened recently in Monroe County when the Modern Producers Community Action Group (CAG) hosted an afternoon dinner with newly elected Dist. 31 Representative Regina “Reggie” Miller (D-Van Buren Twp.)

Actually, describing it as “country magic” doesn’t do justice to the real impact and value of local Farm Bureau members interacting with elected leaders.

“Friendly territory” in this case means the tidied-up shop at Kamprath Farms outside Ida, with tables set up between a John Deere 4020 in mid-engine rebuild and a corn planter waiting for its own upgrades. That was the setting for Rep. Miller taking the opportunity to meet with some of her agricultural constituents and hear their concerns.

To make the most of the limited time together, members of the Modern Producers were assigned specific issues to discuss — issues related to their own farms. Whether it concerned actions of Michigan regulatory agencies or upcoming issues on the legislature’s agenda, Rep. Miller was open and receptive to learning more about what’s on our farmers’ minds.

Such opportunities become even more important when you consider Rep. Miller, with limited background in modern agriculture, has been appointed chair of the Michigan House Agricultural Committee.

By defining current issues — rather than just complaining about them — our Modern Producers made the most of two hours spent with Rep. Miller.

Among those issues was the lack of local slaughter plants, framed by the 6-12 month lead time necessary to schedule processing. The regulation requiring those plants to have on-site water treatment equipment in place gave Rep. Miller some insight into how action in Lansing can impact farmers in her district.

Travis Horkey of Horkey Brother Farms discussed the prevailing wage increase and how it was impacting their vegetable-growing and packing-house operation.

Other topics discussed included the power and value of verification in MAEAP — the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program — and the value of Michigan State University’s Project GREEEN.

The greater accomplishment of this local effort, driven by Farm Bureau members, was that a solid foundation of communication and understanding was begun with a newly elected official, who now has connections with a credible source of information to draw upon in her decision making.

From such efforts, maybe a little “country magic” really can happen.

Media Contacts
Jeremy Nagel headshot

Jeremy Nagel

Member Communications Specialist
517-323-6885 [email protected]