Sen. Hunes farm-friendly, pro-environment legislation advances


LANSING ― Farm-friendly legislation was approved by the Michigan Senate Wednesday, said sponsor Sen. Joe Hune. The measures would ensure Michigan farmers who voluntarily comply with state environmental standards receive real benefits.

“As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a farmer myself, I know the vital role agriculture plays in Michigan’s economy,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “Farmers are already working to protect our environment; after all, they make their living off the land and they should have real benefits for voluntarily complying with environmental standards.”

According to Hune, in the program, farmers spend more than $1.2 million of their own money on environmental protection measures.

If signed into law, Senate Bills 122 and 123 would significantly change the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. Through this legislation, compliant farms would be protected from onerous civil fines and grant money from existing funds would be made available to encourage participation and compliance in the program.

Prior to serving in the Legislature, Hune owned and operated an agribusiness in his hometown of Fowlerville. The lawmaker continues to raise livestock and exotic animals on his family’s farm.

“I’m glad the Senate approved these common sense measures and I hope my colleagues in the House will act quickly to send them to the governor,” Hune said. “Michigan’s second-largest industry and hard-working farmers across the state need these proposed laws on the books now.”

SBs 122 and 123 now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.