Brunner introduces resolution urging passage of farm bill

Federal measure set to expire; agriculture crucial to Michigan economy
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BAY CITY - State Representative Charles Brunner (D-Bay City) introduced a resolution in the state House today urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a federal farm bill, authored by Michigan’s U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, before the current bill expires Sept. 30. Stabenow, who chairs the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, was able to pass the Farm Bill with wide bipartisan support in the Senate, but the bill is still awaiting U.S. House action. The Farm Bill provides critical disaster relief to farmers and ranchers impacted by this year’s freeze and drought, helps farmers and agriculture businesses create jobs, and cuts $23 billion in unnecessary spending.

“As an industry, agriculture is a cornerstone of Michigan’s economy,” Brunner said. It is imperative that Congress come together and pass the farm bill to preserve this vital segment of Michigan business.” Brunner is the Democratic vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Annually, food and agriculture systems contribute more than $91 billion to Michigan’s economy, making it the state’s second-biggest industry. Michigan’s 56,000 farms comprise about 10 million acres of land, and more than 90 percent of those farms are owned by individuals or families. The state produces more than 200 commodities on a commercial basis, making Michigan the nation’s second-most agriculturally diverse state.

This is just the latest instance of Brunner fighting for agricultural interests. In February, he introduced a bill that would amend the classification of dirt removed from sugar beets, removing an unnecessary, burdensome regulation from bay area businesses.