As Michigan's second leading industry, agriculture generates $71 billion per year and is one of the foundations or our state's economy.
Our state government must continue to find ways to encourage the growth of this important industry. I have offered a plan to provide tax incentives for farmers to convert to more energy efficient equipment and encourage our agricultural professionals to develop renewable energy sources. Utilizing our state's natural resources to create energy will make use of Michigan's strong agricultural and manufacturing base and grow jobs for Michigan residents.
Southwest Michigan has a rich agricultural history. From fruit and corn growers to wineries to pork farmers, maintaining southwest Michigan's 3,000 farms and agribusinesses is a top priority of mine. I have always worked to protect the Michigan State University Agricultural Extension Program which educates farmers, community leaders and children; I have been endorsed by Farm Bureau; and I support local 4-H Clubs and county youth fairs. These types of organizations encourage and enrich this industry which is so vital to Michigan's great southwest.