Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update
Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 includes cuts to Michigan agriculture programs. The Governor’s proposed Department of Agriculture and Rural Development budget for fiscal year 2012 recommends total funding of $71.5 million and for fiscal year 2013, total funding of $72.9 million.
The cuts include a proposed amendment to the drain code pertaining to intercounty drain administration, provisions to transfer on-farm dairy inspections from the state to industry field representatives, and cuts to grain elevator surveillance.
Page B-1 of the proposed budget states: "The Governor recommends transferring the dairy farm milk safety inspection program to dairy industry field representatives who are certified by the department to conduct dairy farm inspections, realizing a savings to the general fund of $600,000." "By focusing on surveillance activities related to food and animal feed safety alone, the department will recognize a savings to the general fund of $250,000. The department will no longer collect and analyze animal feed samples for nutrient content." (Proposed budget, p. B-1). "The Governor recommends amending the Drain Code by reducing the responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and creating a voluntary assessment for each Intercounty Drainage District that chooses to access state services. These changes will save $432,300 general fund." "The Governor proposes to increase the annual grain dealer fee which will fully fund the producer security program, saving $300,000 general fund." (Proposed budget, p. B-1).
Governor Snyder’s proposed budget for can be found here (We have identified that the following link is no longer active, and it has been removed).
This budget is not final. This is the time to communicate your concerns to your MI Representative or Senator.