Farm Bill Hearing


May 8, 2017

Lawmakers listened to Michigan farmers and ranchers over the weekend as they shared their desires for the 2018 farm bill. During the event held at Michigan State University, 16 witnesses testified and shared what different parts of the ag industry want to see in the legislation.

Farm labor, or the lack of it, was one of the main concerns noted by producers -- including fruit growers.

“Labor continues to be our number one issue on our farm,” said Chris Alpers of Alpers Farms, “and I must say there is no insurance for no labor. A solution to this problem must come sooner than later. I’ve personally witnessed crops wasting away on trees because the producer wasn’t able to secure a domestic workforce or there had been extreme delays in the H2-A program.”

Other key requests by producers include a robust crop insurance program, support for renewable fuel and biobased products, as well as reducing the amount of “red tape” farmers have to deal with on their operations.