Michigan Farm Bureau hosted their 16th Annual/Ag Day at the Capitol on Wednesday. The event brought nearly 30 Michigan commodity/and farm-related organizations to Lansing, showcasing the best of Michigan agriculture.
“Ag Day at the Capitol is an opportunity for Michigan agriculture to come to our state’s capital and show our elected officials the importance of the ag industry in the state of Michigan,” said Ernie Birchmeier, manager of the Center for Commodity Farm and Industry Relations for Michigan Farm Bureau. “A basket of Michigan agricultural products was delivered to all the elected officials’ offices so they could take advantage of some of our great food products.”
Birchmeier said the state’s agriculture industry is fortunate to have some elected officials with ag backgrounds. They already understand ag’s importance to the state’s economy. For those that don’t have that knowledge, this event gives the opportunity to teach them to be advocates for agriculture.
“If they’re from an area of the state that doesn’t have a lot of agriculture—our urban population base—those elected officials need to know that agriculture is important,” he said. “Their constituents rely on agriculture three times a day or more, just like everyone else. They need to know why our industry is so important, not only to them, but to their constituents.”
Earlier this month, Gov. Getchen Whitmer proclaimed March as Michigan Food and Agriculture month. Birchmeier says Ag Day at the Capitol is a great way to show off the diverse crops Michigan produces and the supporters.
“We are truly blessed in Michigan to have an abundance of great farmers,” he said. “Just as important is the abundance of great production for our consumers not only here in Michigan, but across the U.S. and throughout the world.”
Birchmeier added he’s thankful for the opportunity to bring the farm to the city and share the goods and services with the elected officials.
“We rely on those folks to make good policy for us—in order for them to do that, we’ve got to make sure they understand our issues and [Ag Day at the Capitol] is an opportunity for that.”