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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Visits with Michigan Farmers

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was in West Michigan in early February to meet with Michigan farmers. As reported by MLive.com, he told farmers that the new Farm Bill, which will be hashed out this year before the...more

Family Farms Threatened by Over-regulation

On February 7, 2018, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and recounted a long list of regulatory abuses and missteps by the federal...more

Michigan Dairy Farmer Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Hiring Illegal Immigrants

On January 4, 2018, dairy farmer Denis Burke was sentenced to two years in prison by U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington. Burke will have another two years of supervised release following time served. A fine of $1.38...more

Michigan Lawmakers Busy with a Variety of Issues

The Michigan Legislature has been very active following Gov. Snyder’s final State of the State address. Some of the more recent highlights of interest, according to Michigan Farm News and Michigan Farm Bureau...more

Farm Bureau Asks Court to Block Obama WOTUS Rule

According to Michigan Farm News, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the Texas Farm Bureau and other members of a broad industry and agricultural coalition have asked a federal district court in Texas to issue a...more

State Seeks to Avoid TB ‘Nuclear Option’

According to the Michigan Ag Connection and Michigan Farm News, Michigan livestock farmers are closely monitoring current discussions between Michigan and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) concerning ongoing efforts...more

National Milk Producers Federation Working to Improve Labor Challenges

USAgNet.com recently reported that National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) President and CEO Jim Mulhern praised the work of Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) for offering an amendment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s...more

Obama Administration’s Organic Animal Welfare Rule Postponed a Second Time

For the second time, the effective date of the Organic Animal Welfare Rule (OAWR) proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture during the last days of the Obama administration has been pushed back. The new...more

NAFTA Renegotiation Would Intend to Benefit Farmers, Ranchers

In recent weeks, the Trump administration took the first step toward renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative (USTR), sent a letter to Congress...more

Senator Stabenow Introduces Urban Agriculture Act of 2016

This fall, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow announced plans to introduce the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016, legislation that would support urban farming initiatives and increase access to healthy food. “Urban agriculture is...more

Grower Security and Payment Protection Legislation Awaits Senate Approval

On May 5, the Senate Commerce Committee approved Senate Bills 899 and 900. The legislation would strengthen Michigan's Grain Dealer's Act and Farm Produce Insurance Act should a licensed grain dealer end up insolvent or...more

Senate Committee Passes Amendments Aimed at Easing PA 116 Burdens

In March 2016, the Michigan House unanimously passed House Bills 5189, 5190 and 5191, and the bills were subsequently passed by the Michigan Senate Agriculture Committee. The legislation is aimed at altering procedures for...more

H-2A Delays Cost Farmers Profits and Customers

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are responsible for processing H-2A guest worker visa applications, but farmers are seeing delays of up to two weeks in the arrival of these...more

Major Federal Food Safety Law Depends on Individual State Enforcement

In 2011, Congress approved the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in response to several deadly outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. These outbreaks convinced legislators and food industry groups that the then-existing food...more

EPA Fails To Approve Dicamba Herbicide Label in Time for 2016 Growing Season

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to timely finalize product labeling of dicamba herbicides for use on Roundup-ready (RR2X) soybeans, leaving farmers unable to make use of the herbicide this growing season. The...more

Senate Agriculture Committee to Review GMO Labeling Bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee is in the process of moving forward with a GMO Labeling Bill. Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, released a discussion draft of the bill in February, and has the support of the American...more

Biosecurity Best Practices Gaining Awareness on Michigan Farms

Farm biosecurity, a series of management practices and measures designed to minimize or prevent the entry and spread of pests and diseases onto a farm, is drawing increased attention in recent years. Part of the growing...more

Expanded Crop Insurance Options for Farmers Transitioning to Certified Organic Agriculture

The USDA recently announced expanded crop insurance options to allow producers to purchase insurance coverage that better reflects their product's actual value. The expanded coverage is part of the USDA's continued commitment...more

Ag Committee Leaders Oppose Crop Insurance Cuts

Recently the House Agriculture Committee stood firm on the promise against reopening the Farm Bill to new crop insurance cuts. The High Plains Journal reports that leaders feel that the proposed cuts to crop insurance in the...more

Did You Grow Corn in the Past Two Years? You’re Part of a Lawsuit

Corn farmers across the county have collectively filed more than 20,000 lawsuits against Syngenta. In 2010, Syngenta released GMO seed before it was approved by some export markets, most notably China. That GMO corn later...more

Mandatory GMO Labeling Quashed Under House Bill

In late July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The controversial legislation, as passed by the House, creates a national voluntary standard for the labeling of foods with GMO...more

Federal Judge Blocks WOTUS Rule, Michigan Files Separate Suit

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” Rule (WOTUS) that was supposed to go into effect on August 28, 2015, was blocked when North Dakota U.S. District Judge Ralph...more

Release of Personal Information Called ‘Unlawful’ and a ‘Threat to Privacy’ in Appeals Brief

After a federal district court dismissed a case filed against the EPA, thereby upholding the validity of the EPA's public release of personal information about farmers and their families, the American Farm Bureau Federation...more

6/18/2015  /  Appeals , Dismissals , EPA , Farms , Privacy Concerns

DEQ Announces CAFO Permit Change to Protect Michigan Surface Waters

On May 4, 2015, Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced a change to its Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) discharge permits in an effort to better protect the environment and Michigan's...more

MDARD Workgroup Recommends Legislation to Support Urban Livestock Operations

Property owners who want to start or expand commercial livestock operations are required to go through a site verification process designed to ensure compliance with Michigan’s Generally Accepted Agricultural Management...more

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