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Food Processing Potential for Creating Jobs, Strengthening Michigan Economy Underscored by Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow

Press Release

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today said that food processing represents a major opportunity to grow Michigan's economy and create jobs during a visit to the Country Fresh processing plant in Grand Rapids.

"From farming and ranching to marketing and manufacturing, Michigan's agriculture industry touches virtually every community, supporting one in four Michigan jobs and bringing more than $70 billion to the state annually," Chairwoman Stabenow said. "Food processing is a critical piece of that pie, and represents a major opportunity to continue growing our economy and creating jobs here in Michigan. Across the state, food processing accounts for more than 40,000 jobs and contributes nearly $15 billion to the economy. As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I'm focused on expanding the industry, and continuing Michigan's legacy as a leader in making and growing things."

We are honored to have Senator Stabenow visit our plant," said Kevin Begin, General Manager Country Fresh and Jilbert. "We continue to appreciate and support her efforts to sustain and grow manufacturing and agriculture in the state of Michigan."

Chairwoman Stabenow made the comments following a meeting with Country Fresh representatives and a tour of the processing facility. Country Fresh is a processor affiliate of Dean Foods, and a major supplier of dairy products in Michigan. In addition to the Grand Rapids plant, the company operates three other processing facilities in Michigan-Evart, Livonia, and Marquette and employs over 1,000 people.

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