2001 Resolutions

RESOLUTIONS OF THE MICHIGAN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY 2001

1.      GENERALLY ACCEPTED AGRICULTURE AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES:  RIGHT TO FARM LAW

Whereas on farm retail sales of Michigan Agricultural Commodities, raw and value-added, have become necessary for survival of many fruit and vegetable farms in Michigan;

Whereas the retailing of fruits and vegetables in fresh and value-added form has become commonplace on Michigan farms;

Whereas retail sales of farm commodities provide consumers with family value and entertainment, while greatly contributing to both the agriculture and tourism industries, Michigan’s second and third largest industries;

Whereas retail farm sales, or farm market sales are not addressed as a generally accepted agriculture and management practice under the Michigan Right to Farm Law;

Now therefore be it resolved that the Michigan State Horticultural Society strongly urges the Michigan Department of Agriculture to address retail farm sales, or farm market sales as a generally accepted agriculture and management practiced under the Michigan Right to Farm Law.

2.      2000 QUALITY LOSS PROGRAM

Whereas the Farm Service Agency is responsible for implementing and administering the 2000 Quality Loss Program that involves most horticultural crops;

Whereas H.B. 4461 was adopted by Congress to compensate growers for quality loss of produce sold at a sub marginal (lower) price due to weather related quality losses;

Whereas Farm Service Agency is recognizing only #1 quality produce and cullage rather than recognizing the diminished value of salvaged (#2) quality product. Farm Service Agency does recognize the diminished value of produce sold to processors for canning yet fails to recognize the diminished value of produce sold to individual for canning;

Therefore be it resolved that the Michigan State Horticultural Society believes that the Farm Service Agency has misinterpreted the intent of the legislation as set for the by Congress and urges the Farm Service Agency to review their administrative rules defining quality loss to recognize that quality loss does not only apply to complete cullage of produce, but also applies to diminished value of salvageable fruit..

3.      REAFFIRMATION OF P.A. 344

Whereas the Michigan fruit industry is facing economic hardship in the world marketplace;

Whereas the numbers of processing facilities are declining and the farm-to-retail price spread is ever increasing;

Therefore be it resolved that 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.

4.      FAMILY FARMS

Whereas the foundation of agriculture in America has always been considered to be the family farm;

Whereas the instruction and upbringing of children on the farm has more often than not produced young adults who are trustworthy, hard working and a benefit to society;

Whereas in order to protect the financial future of family farms many have formed formal partnerships, LLC’s, and corporations;

Now therefore bet it resolved that a family farm be defined as an agricultural entity operated by blood or marriage relatives; and

Be it further resolved that the same regulations concerning employment of children apply to all family farms, be they sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation;

Be it further resolved that appropriate legislation be enacted.

5.      MIGRANT LABOR CAMPS

Whereas all migrant labor camps in Michigan are State inspected and;

Whereas prior to licensing all infractions must be corrected and;

Whereas prior to habitation of the living units a second inspection is performed and;

Whereas on demand inspections by the U.S. Department of Labor could be construed as harassment, especially when frivolous infractions are cited;

Therefore be it resolved that the Michigan State Horticultural Society strongly urges the U.S. Department of Labor to consider a current license as proof that a labor camp is acceptable for habitation.

6.      COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING OF PRODUCE

Whereas the Michigan State Horticultural Society commends the current efforts before congress to establish a country of origin label for perishable commodities;

Whereas H.R. 1605 and S. 280 have been considered in their respective committees;

Now therefore be it resolved that the Michigan State Horticultural Society strongly urges congress to resurrect country of origin labeling legislation for adoption.

Be it further resolved Michigan State Horticultural Society requests congress to consider including country of origin labeling on retailed packaged processed fruit.

7.      TART CHERRY REFERENDUM

Whereas the Michigan Tart Cherry industry is in need of further opportunity through promotion profitability and new and expanded markets;

Whereas during January 2002 Michigan Tart Cherry producers will have an opportunity to review the effectiveness of the Michigan Cherry Committee by voting whether or not to continue the program;

Therefore be it resolved that the Michigan State Horticultural Society urges eligible tart cherry producers to become informed and educated regarding the referendum, the value that continuation will provide, and participate by making an objective decision in their vote.

8.      COMMENDATION OF MDA FOR SUPPORT OF APPLE CIDER INDUSTRY

Whereas during 1996, near catastrophe struck the US Cider industry when the media reported severe human illness in other parts of the country due to bacteria present in non-pasteurized apple cider,

Whereas purchase and consumption of non-pasteurized apple cider seemed deeply threatened as news media reports and warnings to schools made public perception on non-pasteurized apple cider safety seem questionable and an emotional issue;

Whereas the non-pasteurized cider industry was faced with adversity and the real possibility of collapse;

Whereas the Michigan Department of Agriculture stepped forward, formed a study and an advisory committee with the industry to define problems and develop solution s to support apple cider production;

Whereas MDA promptly revamped, revised, upgraded, and standardized inspections of cider mills; upgraded product sampling, and thoroughly trained staff of cider safety issues;

Now therefore be it resolved that the Michigan State Horticultural Society herby commends the MDA, Director Wyant, and staff at all levels for their proactive approach to working with the industry for the common goal of quality, safety and success preserving ht Michigan non-pasteurized apple cider industry as a Michigan tradition.

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