MFB agrees Snyder remains on right track to reforming, growing Michigan

LANSING – The Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB), the state’s largest general farm organization, remains convinced that Gov. Rick Snyder is on the right track to reforming state government and growing Michigan’s economy.

Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) President Wayne H. Wood commended Snyder on his second State of the State address and his unwavering commitment to reinvent Michigan by taking care of unfinished business, addressing critical challenges and emphasizing good government.

“Governor Snyder has made great strides over the past year to reform and streamline state government, particularly state spending,” said Wood. “The Michigan Farm Bureau is encouraged by the Governor’s 2012 State of the State address and we believe his plan for the future provides an optimal starting point for continued dialogue and action in the Capitol on critical reform measures.”

Snyder’s focus on “good government” falls in line with two years of MFB’s government streamlining initiative, encouraging lawmakers to trim the fat from particularly wasteful areas of the state budget.

“Farmers understand a thing or two about doing more with less; over the past century our productivity has soared despite our population declining. In government, as on the farm, efficiency is achieved by working smarter, not by throwing money around,” said Wood. “As the Governor stated, the challenge for the state is clearly to invest where investment is needed and make significant yet prudent investments.”

Many of the additional goals that Snyder outlined in his address align with MFB’s 2012 organizational agenda, including capitalizing on the state’s diverse agriculture industry to grow jobs in Michigan.

“Farm Bureau appreciates the Governor’s continued recognition of agriculture and forestry as key industries that are critical to Michigan’s future and warrant investment,” said Wood. “We also look forward to working with Governor Snyder on his Pure Michigan Talent Connect initiative and making more people aware of the good-paying, highly diverse jobs that are available in the agriculture industry and that require skilled professionals of all backgrounds and talents.”

Snyder’s vow to remove onerous regulations that hamper job growth and efficiency also resonates well with Farm Bureau priorities.

Wood said MFB members were pleased to hear that the Snyder administration has already rescinded nearly 400 obsolete, confusing or burdensome regulations from the close to 16,000 regulations currently on the books and there are plans to remove more.

“Farmers are not against regulations. We agree that regulations have a place and serve a purpose. However, we oppose regulations that are unclear, duplicative, overly burdensome or downright unnecessary and overzealous,” said Wood. “It only makes sense to clear out the clutter and refocus state government resources on regulations that truly have meaning and value and don’t create barriers to responsible and prosperous business growth.”

MFB’s 2012 organizational agenda also places a high emphasis on Snyder’s commitment to properly maintain and fund the state’s aging infrastructure and improve the transportation system through innovations such as the New International Trade Crossing proposed to link Detroit and Canada.

“The success of agriculture in Michigan depends on access to markets. Maintaining and growing markets, however, largely hinges on being able to transport agricultural goods to and from market by road, rail, water and/or air in a cost-effective, efficient and reliable manner,” said Wood.

“As the Governor candidly acknowledged, no one in Michigan is satisfied with the current condition of the state’s road system,” said Wood. “Clearly, transportation and infrastructure are areas that demand prudent but significant investment.”

All in all, Wood said Snyder has demonstrated courage and leadership in championing dramatic change and being honest about the difficult decisions that still lay ahead.

“Farm Bureau admires Governor Snyder for stepping up, offering solutions and, most of all, fostering a spirit of collaboration and cooperation where his underlying motivation truly rests on what’s good for Michigan,” said Wood.