March 2014: Michigan Food and Agriculture Month

WHEREAS, March signifies a national celebration of the importance of food and agriculture in the United States as it provides almost everything we eat and use each day; and to recognize and celebrate the diversity and abundance provided by Michigan’s 55,000 farmers and our growing food and agriculture sector; and

WHEREAS, Michigan’s farmers provide consumers with not only food and fiber on our 10 million acres of farmland, but they also lay the foundation for a dynamic food and agriculture industry, making it one of our state's critical economic drivers, contributing $96 billion to our state's economy each year; and

WHEREAS, production agriculture, food processing, and related businesses comprise a large portion of the state’s workforce, employing 923,000 people or 22 percent of our population, and produce more than 300 different agricultural commodities making Michigan one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the nation; and

WHEREAS, Michigan's integrated network of family farmers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers work to ensure a safe and nutritious food supply enjoyed by millions throughout our state and across the globe; and

WHEREAS, Michigan consumers and retailers prefer purchasing Michigan grown and processed food and agriculture products; and

WHEREAS, Michigan’s food and agricultural sector saw an increase of more than 50 percent from 2004 to 2010, making food and agriculture a cornerstone to reinventing and growing Michigan’s economy; and

WHEREAS, I urge all Michiganians to join me in recognizing the importance of our food and agriculture industry, to thank a farmer for providing the food we eat, and to help celebrate every month with meals made with a variety of local Michigan ingredients.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby declare March 2014 as Michigan Food and Agriculture Month.