Strengthening Agriculture & Rural Communities
Agriculture is one of Michigan’s biggest industries, essential to our economy and our rural communities, sustaining millions of families who depend on a safe and affordable food supply. As the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation, Michigan’s blueberries, apples, cherries and sugar beets are just a handful of the roughly 300 crops we grow and ship across the country and the world. Food and agriculture, including our dairy and livestock producers, account for more than one out of five jobs in Michigan, and our hardworking farmers, growers and producers use our state’s unique climate and resources to support this important industry and help feed the nation.
Gary is working to ensure Michigan’s farmers and growers have access to capital and can compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace. Since joining Congress, Gary has helped pass comprehensive farm bills, a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico – that expands access for our dairy, wheat and other producers – and he’s spearheaded the fight against foreign trade abusers who have continuously undermined and hurt one of Michigan’s most iconic industries: the cherry industry. Gary will continue standing with cherry growers in their fight to level the playing field against foreign producers.
Bridging the digital divide continues to be a pressing issue in Michigan’s rural communities. As our society becomes increasingly interconnected, the need for high-speed broadband has become even more urgent for Michigan’s students, businesses and families in rural areas of the state. Just as connecting every household to electricity was a top priority in the 20th century, connecting each home to broadband must be a 21st century priority.
Gary believes that we need investments in broadband infrastructure to bridge the broadband gap. He passed legislation into law improving how data is collected on broadband availability so that we can better identify where there’s still a lack of high-speed broadband.
Gary is also working to ensure rural voices have a seat at the table when key policy decisions affecting them are being made. That’s why he passed legislation into law reforming the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) chief drone policy committee to include representation for agriculture, forestry, and rural America.