RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED AT THE 129TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
MICHIGAN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
I. The Michigan State Horticultural Society reaffirms the resolutions that were adopted December 7, 1998 on P.A. 344 and the Food Quality Protection Act, and December 3, 1997 on the labor issue. Those resolutions read as follows:
a) P.A. 344: Whereas the Michigan fruit industry is facing economic hardship in the world marketplace, and whereas the numbers of processing facilities are declining and the farm-to-retail price spread is ever increasing, the Michigan State Horticultural Society is reaffirming its commitment to P.A. 344 to improve the net farm income in Michigan. All processors – cooperative and independent – must comply with P.A. 344. Maintaining equitable opportunities in purchasing the raw product will ensure the continued growth of our state’s fruit industry.
b) Food Quality Protection Act: The Michigan State Horticultural Society reaffirms the need to ensure that the Food Quality Protection Act implementation be based on sound science and economic impact. Hence, the necessity that all commodities have economic alternatives to the loss of any crop protection products is paramount to the success of the Michigan fruit industry. Therefore, the Michigan State Horticultural Society encourages a renewed effort by its membership, the Michigan Farm Bureau, other Michigan commodity interests and the Michiganagricultural industry to demand that the food quality Protection Act be implemented by the US Environmental Protection Agency in a sound scientific manner.
c) Whereas the Michigan fruit industry is highly dependent upon labor, and whereas in recent years, for a variety of reasons, there are concerns about shortages of labor to harvest and process/pack the crops, therefore be it resolved that the Michigan State Horticultural Society supports: 1) increased funding in state housing grants, 2) expanding and simplifying entry into the US for temporary seasonal agricultural workers, and 3) the development of more structured networking within the growing community.
II. Crop insurance is quickly becoming the number one tool for growers to manage risk. Crop insurance should be based on accurate numbers. Michiganpeach growers, through no fault of their own, have adversely been affected by inaccurate peach price calculations and the inability of legislators to correct the problem for1999 insurance payments. We urge our legislatures to insist that the Risk Management Agency use the updated peach price for the 1999 crop year.
III. Although the general economy in the U.S. is experiencing a period of expansion and strong growth, agriculture finds itself in depression. To help return profitability to agriculture, we would strongly encourage the congress to reinstate investment credit. The result of such an action would stimulate the agriculture economy and help preserve farming as an industry and a way of life.
IV. A special thank you to U.S. Apple and all others involved in the successful anti-dumping lawsuit dealing with apple juice concentrate.
V. Whereas Michigan is experiencing the loss of valuable agricultural land and the deterioration of our inner cities (urban sprawl), the Michigan State Horticultural Society would strongly support increased funding for the purchase of Development Rights Program (PDR) and also have the ability for the implementation of Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and ag security zones.
VI. Because of the economic impact, the Michigan State Horticultural Society strongly opposes a total ban on deer baiting or feeding, based on the DNR estimates that over one million bushels of Michigan apples are utilized each year for this purpose.
VII. We would like the Michigan State Hort Society [Board of Directors] to explore the possibility of working with other eastern horticultural groups to form an Eastern U.S. Hort. Council to work for our horticultural interests in Washington D.C.