In a recent interview, Senator Debbie Stabenow weighed in on the anticipated 2012 farm bill, supported biofuels and a safety net. The Michigan Democrat dismissed those who questioned her background and her commitment to American agriculture, pointing out that the agricultural sector is vital to the Michigan economy. Not only does Michigan agriculture provide ¼ of the jobs in Michigan, but Stabenow pointed out that the agricultural sector is also vitally linked to Michigan’s auto industry through the production of trucks and other farm equipment.
When pressed on the farm bill, Stabenow pointed out the need for a farmer’s safety net, stating, “We have had traditional direct payments, commodity payments, but we also have something called crop insurance which helps growers to manage risk by buying insurance. So we have to look at how those two things fit together.” In addition, she advocated further provisions to prevent soil erosion in the Great Lakes area and cited her concern for continued conservation programs.
Finally, Stabenow remains committed to energy independence and the production of biofuels. Citing research programs conducted in Michigan, Stabenow emphasized the need for cellulosic ethanol, created not from corn, but sugar beets, timber, wood by-products, and other agricultural products.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer