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Farm bill must provide certainty for ag

A spokesperson for the Ag Leaders of Michigan says the Farm Bill must provide certainty for agriculture through a strong safety net and robust crop insurance program.

Mary Kelpinski with the Michigan Pork Producers Association tells Brownfield agriculture has made concessions in past farm bills and now is not the time to cut funding.  “We feel that with the way that the economy is going right now, we need to make sure that producers have the safety nets and the security of the farm bill to support them in these times of need.”

She says expanding market access is extremely important to the pork industry and there’s a growing need protect livestock from disease outbreaks.  “What we’re looking for in the farm bill is to actually build up a supply of vaccines so that if we did have a break of a disease, especially foot and mouth disease, there would be some vaccines available.”

Kelpinski says now is the time for farmers and the industry to voice their concerns as farm bill hearings are starting across the country.

Priorities set by the coalition include ensuring a strong, dependable farm safety net; maintaining a dedicated crop insurance program; modernizing and streamlining agriculture conservation programs; investing in clean energy throughout rural America; expanding markets for U.S. agricultural products; and providing dependable nutrition assistance for those in need.

Ag Leaders of Michigan includes GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Michigan Corn Growers Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Michigan Pork Producers Association, Michigan Soybean Association and Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc.

AUDIO: Interview with Mary Kelpinski

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