Stabenow Defends Farm Spending

In the face of tough economic times and political gridlock in Washington, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow remains committed to advancing agricultural interests. As chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Stabenow has greatly influenced agricultural policy in the United States, and has championed expanding access to farm loans and direct subsidies to small farmers across the country.
Michigan’s climate and geography has allowed its farmers to cultivate some of the most diverse agricultural goods in the country, second only to California. Given the importance of farming to the state economy, the availability of farm loans, farm subsidies, and federal agricultural support is of critical importance to Michiganders.
By remaining committed to protecting access to farm programs, Stabenow hopes to help her constituents. Made chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee in 2011, Stabenow has worked to expand access to farm loans and federal agricultural funding, particularly to family farms. Locally, Stabenow has personally intervened to provide needed support to small Michigan farms. Earlier this month, Stabenow announced federal grants and farm loans being distributed to a family blueberry farm in southeast Michigan. She also announced the distribution of federal grants to a bio-based manufacturer located in East Lansing, Michigan.
In addition to her concern for local farmers, Stabenow has worked to guarantee access to farm loans and farm subsidies on a national level. With several provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill set to expire at the end of the year, national attention is being placed on agricultural issues. Despite political gridlock in Congress, Stabenow hopes that a new farm bill addressing current needs for farm loans and farm subsidies will be passed by the end of the year. In particular, Stabenow has been concerned with shielding farmers from some of the ag industry’s volatility. The severe weather that struck much of the country last year was a clarion call for the importance of farm loans and disaster support. Stabenow directly addressed the importance of farm safety nets in a speech to Michigan farmers where she stated, “We want to make sure nobody has to lose their farm because of a few days of bad weather or some other kind of disaster.”