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Leaders from the United Fresh Produce Association are applauding Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s efforts to seek the chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
During her time in Congress, United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel said Sen. Stabenow “has been a great friend of the produce industry and a leader on many agriculture issues. As chairman, she will also bring a strong sense of cooperation and bipartisanship to this position, a critical quality during the upcoming debate on the Farm Bill.”
Representing what is considered to be the second most agriculturally diverse state in the country, Sen. Stabenow, who authored the Horticulture title of the 2008 Farm Bill, has spent a lifetime working for agriculture in the Michigan state legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives and now as the United States Senator from Michigan since 2000. Not only has she worked for the fruit and vegetable growers in her own state, she has worked on many other important agriculture commodity issues including, dairy, conservation, rural development and sugar while focusing efforts around nutrition, food safety policy and renewable energy initiatives that impact agriculture stakeholders across the country.
Particularly noteworthy, said Stenzel, is Sen. Stabenow’s support for landmark legislation that would incorporate the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program into schools nationwide. The law has made vital changes in schoolchildren’s lives, introducing them to healthier foods and eating habits by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables in schools. Last summer, she spent time in California touring both the Central Valley and Salinas areas to better understand western agriculture and met with many farmers about the need to cooperate across commodity and regional lines.
“Senator Stabenow brings a wealth of experience to the table when it comes to agriculture issues and how they impact farmers and ranchers of all sizes. The Senate Agriculture Committee will be in capable hands with Senator Stabenow,” said Robert Guenther, United Fresh’s SVP of Public Policy.
“Senate Stabenow has the full support of fruit and vegetable producers across the country as the next chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee,” added Stenzel. “The Senate would be well-served under her leadership on the many challenges we face in the coming years.”