Victory chairs hearing on governor’s 2021 MDARD budget

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Roger Victory on Thursday led a subcommittee meeting to hear Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell outline the governor’s 2021 budget recommendation for the department.

“Michigan agriculture is critical to our economy and way of life,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “Our state is home to over 47,000 farms that provide fresh and healthy food for Michigan families, contribute over $100 billion to the Michigan economy each year, and employ nearly 20% of Michigan workers.”

The governor’s fiscal year 2021 MDARD budget recommendation totals more than $120 million, an 8% increase over the current budget. Victory said that despite the increase, the governor’s recommendation failed to recognize several critical and longstanding budget items that still have not been restored from last year’s vetoes. Most significantly, these include funding for the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture and support for community fairs and festivals.

“Many Michigan growers are still recovering from last year’s devastating weather, and they still face tough challenges,” Victory said. “I look forward to working with Director McDowell and the governor to pass a proactive budget that works to address the actual needs of our farming families and businesses.”

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