Washington D.C. – March 18, 2016 – It was with heavy hearts and sheer disappointment that Michigan Farm Bureau members listened to Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow address us on why she gave in on the labeling bill in the senate this week.
It was our final morning breakfast meeting at Holiday Inn Capital and the senator basically said to get along you go along. All though farmers appreciate the work she has done on farm bills, state labeling is a no no. According to several farmers present including those from Ottawa and Kent Counties, the Traverse City area, Chippewa County and the Hiawathaland Farm Bureau folks, allowing Vermont to regulate labels is something we can’t give in on.
Farmers noted what Senator Debbie Stabenow has missed saying this morning is that by allowing states to label and limit products, it will severely dismantle interstate commerce. Regulating interstate commerce is a federal issue. Just like the feds came down on Arizona for enacting legislation on immigration, which is also a federal issue, the feds need to reel Vermont back in on interstate commerce. It’s more than giving in like Debbie Stabenow said she did on Wednesday. The feds need to come down on Vermont for enacting labeling laws prior to July 1st when it will begin affecting interstate commerce.
Local farmers around the breakfast table said maybe it’s time to use the legal system to stop this rouge labeling activity prior to July. Local farmers are hopeful that the Michigan Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau will consider to pursue the courts help if needed. I hope to see Fox News and CNN making a big spot lite on Vermont soon just like they did Arizona when the state tried to override federal tasks.
The news media needs to expose Vermont’s attack on Interstate commerce just like they did Arizona’s attack on Immigration.
So wrapping up National AG Day in Washington, Rita said, “the local fare in D.C. is more diverse than we have at home, it was fun for a couple of days, but am looking forward to getting back to the U.P.”
My comments are, “I enjoyed meeting with Mr. Benishek. I feel he’s a good guy with a 6 year mission to help folks in his district. Benishek has done a lot of good things for people and is today helping Alpena farmers with Bovine issues. He shared his disappointment with the current president’s disconnection with congress. Benishek said to the farmers for his entire 6 year term, the president and his aides have only been by once for discussion. We as local farmers chatted that it would seem the president would at least have had an aide stop by monthly over the 72 months to stay connected. Benishek shrugged his shoulders as he said the president has been totally closed to the legislature.
The three Issue Tracks and the discussion were very interesting. I look forward to the lame-duck passage of the Trans Pacific Pack for ramp-ed up trade in 14 countries. I hope the next administration works on Immigration reform In January
and opens up temporary workers for Michigan harvest time especially. And studying these 3 issues, I found I relate positively to the Bio-Tech group and I like safe, scientific innovation for selecting traits in plants for maximizing the fruit yields for example rather than growing the trees bigger and taller. Old wild apple trees use to produce 200-300 bushels per acre. But by selecting traits and using better root stock for example, Traverse City farmers can replant 6′ tall trellis apple trees, planted 1200 trees per acre, be watered
a little, checked on calcium and minerals, and in 4 years begin produce up to 1,200 bushels per acre. The BioTech result is the same safe fresh wholesome apple, but 4 times the yield. This safe scientific GMO trait selection is important for safely and amply feeding a world population approaching 10 billion by 2050…