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ALM Applaud Snyder's Infrastructure Plan
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“Michigan agriculture and the hundreds of thousands of people our industry employs depend on getting access to new information, new technology and new markets quickly. Gov. Snyder’s proposals are a good first step, and we look forward to supporting a 21st-century freight rail system and wireless broadband access, such as the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.”


Source: Agricultural Leaders of Michigan

Agricultural Leaders of Michigan Applaud Snyder’s Infrastructure Plan, Urge Focus to Include Wireless Broadband


Agricultural Leaders of Michigan today applauded Gov. Rick Snyder for pledging to upgrade Michigan’s critical infrastructure, including strengthening roads and bridges, investing in freight rail and building a new international crossing. At the same time, ALM also encouraged the governor to include other components in his infrastructure plan that are essential to the future of Michigan’s growing agricultural economy, including expanding wireless broadband to rural areas.

“Michigan agriculture is a major driver of our state’s economy, creating business opportunities and jobs for our citizens, and strong infrastructure is the key to helping this important sector compete even more aggressively in a global marketplace,” said Dave Armstrong, president and CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services. “Gov. Snyder deserves credit for identifying the core infrastructure improvements we must make to improve our economy. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to help modernize all aspects of Michigan’s critical infrastructure.”

“As Michigan’s fastest growing industry, agriculture is always looking for ways to continue growing and creating local jobs, and maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure that includes wireless broadband and a strong rural freight rail network is absolutely essential,” said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “Michigan agriculture and the hundreds of thousands of people our industry employs depend on getting access to new information, new technology and new markets quickly. Gov. Snyder’s proposals are a good first step, and we look forward to supporting a 21st-century freight rail system and wireless broadband access, such as the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.”

Snyder’s emphasis on upgrading roads and bridges comes at a time when Michigan’s pork, potato, dairy, poultry and other commodity sectors face new opportunities, thanks to recent developments in international trade, including the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also released new data in July showing Michigan agricultural exports to existing markets totaled $1.75 billion in 2010, a 10-percent jump over 2009.

“Michigan potato growers, who are the nation’s top producers for the potato chip market are excited by the tremendous opportunities all around us, and the Governor’s commitment to improve our infrastructure is key step for us to get to new markets,” said Ben Kudwa, legislative director of the Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc. “Improvements to our infrastructure will translate into real growth and real jobs in rural communities across Michigan.

“Pork is the No. 1 choice of protein around the world, and strengthening our transportation and information infrastructure will help open the doors to more opportunities for Michigan’s pork industry,” said Sam Hines, executive vice president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. “Michigan’s pork producers export nearly a third of our pork to other markets, and enhancing our ability to communicate and interact with our worldwide customers is crucial. We need wireless broadband.”

“Michigan’s dairy sector applauds Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan for modernizing our infrastructure,” said Ken Nobis, president of the Michigan Milk Producers Association. “Poor roads and bridges can damage trucks and other equipment, increasing the cost to dairy farmers. Today's dairy farmers rely on advancing technology and timely information, yet often times their rural location prohibits access to this information. Those without access to wireless broadband have a competitive disadvantage. Expanding the access to wireless broadband in Michigan is integral to the continued growth and viability of Michigan's dairy industry.”

“Gov. Snyder’s plan to improve Michigan’s infrastructure is important to help Michigan agricultural continue to grow,” said George House, executive director of Michigan Allied Poultry Industries Inc. “Our rail, roads, bridges and other forms of transporting goods and sharing information must be world class for Michigan businesses to compete with other states and countries. Michigan’s poultry producers are competing with the rest of the nation and the world, and upgrading all aspects of our infrastructure – from rail and wireless broadband to roads and bridges – will be a real boost to Michigan’s poultry businesses, their employees and local communities.”

CONTACTS:

  • Dave Armstrong, President and CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services:
    (517) 318-2290
  • Ken Nobis, President of the Michigan Milk Producers Association:
    (248) 474-6672
  • George House, Executive Director of Michigan Allied Poultry Industries Inc.:
    (616) 676-5593
  • Ben Kudwa, Legislative Director of the Potato Growers of Michigan:
    (517) 669-8377
  • Sam Hines, Executive Vice President, Michigan Pork Producers Association:
    (517) 853-3782
  • Jim Byrum, President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association:
    (517) 336-0223