Vote for Friends of Agriculture in the Nov. 6 general election. Review our complete list of farm-friendly candidates at www.michfb.com/endorsements.
Margaret O’Brien is the AgriPac-endorsed Friend of Agriculture running for reelection in the state’s 20th Senate district encompassing Kalamazoo County. The licensed real estate agent has spent 15 years in public service, including seven years on the Portage City Council, prior to her time in the state House and Senate.
In speaking with O’Brien about her run for reelection, she didn’t hesitate to define her focus.
“The priority issue that we have is keeping Michigan’s budget balanced,” O’Brien said. “It needs to be sustainable and we need to continue to pay down debt.”
Speaking next to agriculture in her own district, she believes Michigan needs to make sure it’s responding to the ever-changing industry’s needs.
“We know we’re in a competitive environment,” she explained. “We must make sure we can compete with our products and make sure industry standards are based on sound environmental reasoning.”
“Especially making sure we support programs like MAEAP, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, and that they are kept in place,” O’Brien added.
When asked if there was anything else she wanted to share with Farm Bureau members before heading to the polls, she had this to say, “It’s important that our laws and budget reflect the needs and issues of Michigan to ensure we have an economy that’s sustainable and a regulatory system that helps us accomplish goals, protects the environment, but also aren’t too burdensome—like the water withdrawal legislation we worked on.”
“I wish that the average person would understand the financial investment farmers make into producing their animals and crops. I grew up on a small dairy farm…farming is very sophisticated and changed a lot from when I was a kid. I appreciate the financial risk farmers take.”