Senator Debbie Stabenow – Chairwoman of the Senate Ag Committee – says bolstering conservation and other critical Farm Bill programs will help to strengthen the 250-billion dollar livestock industry – a major area for job and economic growth as the Committee moves forward in crafting a new Farm Bill. During an Ag Committee hearing Tuesday – the Senator said livestock producers are on the cutting edge of developing responsible and innovative solutions to address environmental and management challenges – while creating new economic opportunities that are boosting growth.
A large number of speakers addressed the gathering – including livestock producer Rick Sietsema of Allendale, Michigan. Sietsema testified that after a major turkey processor closed shop in his home state and cancelled contracts – USDA Rural Development loan guarantees made it possible for a group of growers to get access to the needed credit to facilitate the construction of both a turkey processing facility and a further processing and cooking plant. The group of growers developed a co-op that currently raises a quarter of the 4.6-million turkeys produced in Michigan and employs over 800 associates with a total payroll exceeding 18-million dollars.

NAFB News Service