house resolution no.241

Reps. Alexander and VanWoerkom offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare March 11, 2020, as Agriculture Day in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, Each year, states across the nation recognize March as a time to celebrate the importance of food and agriculture as a significant contributor to the national economy; and

Whereas, The Michigan food and agriculture industry contributes more than $104.7 billion annually to the stateís economy. It is a major source of employment for the stateís workforce, supporting approximately 932,000 jobs and roughly 22 percent of the state's workforce; and

Whereas, Michiganís food and agriculture sector is the second most diverse in the country with more than 47,000 farms, 99 percent of which are family-owned, farming nearly 10 million acres of farmland and commercially producing more than 300 food and agricultural commodities. The state is the largest producer of asparagus, tart cherries, cucumbers, squash, Niagara grapes, and two varieties of dry beans Ė black and cranberry; and ranks in the top ten for 29 additional commodities, including apples, sugar beets, potatoes, blueberries, and celery; and

Whereas, We are a major dairy state, ranking 6th nationally in pounds of milk produced. Dairy is the leading segment of Michiganís agriculture economy. Livestock has the greatest economic impact at $5.13 billion, followed by field crops with an economic impact of $5.12 billion; and

Whereas, The industry supports more than 300 farmers markets in communities across the state, produces hops that have helped to grow more than 300 breweries, and has long supported the nearly 150 wineries that call the Great Lakes State home; and

Whereas, Michigan exports about one-third of its agricultural commodities each year, generating nearly $2.8 billion. Almost 40 percent of Michiganís agricultural exports go directly to Canada, our number one export market, and rounding out the top countries eager for Michigan-grown products are Mexico, Japan, China and Thailand; and

Whereas, Food processing is a large contributor to the stateís economy. Michigan is home to more than 3,200 licensed food processing facilities and warehouses that employ more than 30,000 residents and generate more than $30 billion in economic activity; and

Whereas, Michigan is home to the nation's pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State University, where the Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Veterinary Medicine, in partnership with the industry and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, provide research, education, and support for the growth of production agriculture and agribusinesses; and

Whereas, Michiganís food and agricultural sector continues to be a growing industry offering new business and career opportunities for Michiganders, making food and agriculture a cornerstone of Michiganís continued prosperity; and

Whereas, During the month of March, we celebrate National Agricultural Week and Michigan Food and Agriculture Month, Agriculture Day at the Capitol is March 11, and Michigan State University hosts the State FFA Convention as well as Agriculture and Natural Resources Week; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of the Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare March 11, 2020, as Agriculture Day in the state of Michigan. We encourage all citizens to recognize and celebrate this momentous occasion.