March 2020: 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 allows for an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the diversity and abundance provided by Michigan's farms and our growing food and agriculture sector; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan's nearly 47,000 farms, with an average of 205 acres per farm, provide consumers with food and fiber on nearly ten million acres of farmland, helping to make the food and agriculture industry one of our state's critical economic drivers, contributing $104.7 billion annually to our state's economy; and,


WHEREAS, members of Michigan's food and agriculture sector -- from farms, processing facilities, grocery stores, and restaurants to those who inspect these facilities to assure a safe and abundant food supply -- have served as essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping us fed and healthy; and,


WHEREAS, production agriculture, food processing, and related businesses comprise a large portion of the state's workforce, employing 805,000 people, or 17 percent of our population, and produce more than 300 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, nation, and across the globe; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan consumers, restaurateurs, and retailers prefer purchasing Michigan grown and processed food and agriculture products for their quality, and each local food purchase supports our family farmers, which in turn helps strengthen our state's local economies; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan's food and agricultural sector continues to grow, offering new business and career opportunities for Michiganders;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2020 as Food and Agriculture Month in Michigan.