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VanderWall supports $1.4B agriculture investment

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Curt VanderWall co-sponsored legislation introduced this week that would direct $1.4 billion to improve Michigan’s food security and invest in rural communities.

“Michigan’s agriculture industry is among the top producers in the nation; it is enormously important that we revitalize our food supply chain, which has been stretched thin by the events of the past two years,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “This budget supplemental will do more than just support our food producers and rural communities; it will provide greater access to local produce and help to bring down the inflating costs burdening families at the grocery store.”

Senate Bill 885 would invest $350 million in food distribution security and stability grants; $45 million to help operate and expand farm markets; and $15 million to help local food banks purchase fresh produce, dairy products, and meat and seafood products.

The bill also invests in rural development, including:

  • $350 million to support agriculturally beneficial infrastructure projects,
  • $100 million to help communities that did not receive enough federal broadband funding to complete a full-scale installation,
  • $50 million to assist agricultural operations to meet Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) certifications.

“This investment will help to better secure our food supply, support worker training, support innovative research and rural economic development, and ultimately provide Michigan residents with affordable food for years to come,” VanderWall said.

The bill was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.