GreenStone's Dave Armstrong Among Industry Leaders Testifying on Ag Day
On Wednesday, March 24, State Representative and Chair of the House Agriculture Committee Julie Alexander invited representatives from leading agriculture organizations to testify before the House Agriculture Committee on the condition of Michigan’s agriculture sector.
Speaking on behalf of Michigan Farm Bureau and its members, Andrew Vermeesch and Ernie Birchmeier presented an overview of the state’s commodity groups, showed a commodity video and shared a brochure of leading commodity organizations that make agriculture Michigan’s #2 industry.
Chuck Lippstreu, President of Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA), shared that MABA was originally founded in 1903 representing grain dealers and today virtually comprises every business sector in agriculture. Serving as a go-to resource for their many members, providing information to assist them in agribusiness decision making. Some of the biggest hurdles for Michigan Agribusinesses are road infrastructure, rail transport and broadband.
Dave Armstrong, President and CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services, provided details about the organization. The rural lender has 27,000 members, $11 billion in assets, 580 employees in 36 locations and a 95% customer satisfaction rating.
Over the past year, Michigan farmers have scrambled to adapt to the implications of COVID-19 to feed the state, the nation and the world. While dealing with their own challenges of mental health, food processing delays, employee health implications, fluctuating prices, and lack of infrastructure and rural broadband, Michigan farmers rose to meet the challenge, finding new ways to move forward. Interest rates are at historic lows, land values remain steady and commodity prices have mostly improved. Margins look strong for 2021.