TRAVERSE CITY - U.S Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, has accepted an award from the Michigan Agri-Business Association for his work on the enactment of the Farm Bill and his support of the Michigan agriculture economy in Congress.
The presentation was made while meeting with leaders from across Northern Michigan's growing agriculture community to learn about how their businesses are growing in northern Michigan. The meeting included updates from a number of northern Michigan's agricultural sectors, as well as experts on issues that impact the agriculture community.
"It is truly an honor to accept this award. It is always exciting to hear that jobs and opportunities are expanding in northern Michigan. I grew up in this great state and I want our children to have the same opportunities that we did, and the growing agricultural community is a key player in making sure this happens," said Dr. Benishek, a surgeon from Iron River.
As Michigan's only member of the House Agriculture Committee, Benishek hosted the meeting to discuss the important issues that are directly affecting small businesses in northern Michigan, particularly those in the growing agricultural sector.
"Michigan truly is a national leader when it comes to growing the food Americans eat, and our state stands out for its incredibly diverse agricultural production," said Benishek. "Like any business sector, agriculture is constantly assessing risk and looking to stay ahead of the game. I wanted to bring folks together in Traverse City to be sure I have the latest information that helps me best serve Michigan's farmers."
In addition to receiving the award, the meeting included updates from many of northern Michigan's agricultural industries as well as field experts, and Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.
"As we look to the future, infrastructure - transportation, energy, and broadband access - are critical to help us boost our bottom line and grow the industry," said Byrum. "More producers and business owners than ever are starting the energy efficiency process with an initial energy audit, and many have found that energy efficient systems pay for themselves in just a few years."
According to the Michigan Farm Bureau, the agriculture sector contributes over $71 billion to the state's economy and is the state's second largest industry. Michigan is home to more than 56,000 farms covering over 10 million acres.