Keeping Tabs on State Legislation

Ag processing recommendations and a review of the food law are underway.

Processing recommendations. Last winter a subcommittee of Michigan’s House Agriculture Committee spent two months researching and taking testimony on needs and opportunities in Michigan’s food and agricultural processing industries.

 Chair Cindy Denby (R-Handy Twp.) and member Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon) are now following up on recommendations in the subcommittee’s April 27 final report. They are working to iron out details in areas, such as environmental regulations and food safety, and to pursue new ideas, such as facilitating regional food and farm business networks.

 A team from the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU presented testimony based on the Michigan Good Food Charter and a follow-up memo with specific recommendations.

Get involved. Review the subcommittee’s report and submissions from MSU’s C.S. Mott Group, representing the Michigan Good Food Charter. Share your thoughts and offer ideas to agriculture committee members and your own state representatives. You can find contact information for the House Agriculture Committee, and sign up for updates, here. You can locate your own state representative here.

Food law review in process. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) will soon wrap up a review of the state’s food law that it started last year. MDARD will then introduce suggested changes to the state Legislature.

You can get up to speed and get involved. Here’s how:

· Obtain information about the food law review and suggested changes from MDARD’s Tom Tederington, tederingtont @

· Put together a local work group to assess the recommendations and identify any areas that need further attention.

· Prepare comments on those areas to share with MDARD and lawmakers.

Once lawmakers prepare legislation, sign up to receive notice about committee hearings on the legislation.

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