U.S.: Michigan apple grower to testify at Senate Farm Bill hearing

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U.S.: Michigan apple grower to testify at Senate Farm Bill hearing

Michigan apple grower Chris Alpers of Redpath Orchards in Lake Leelanau is set to speak at the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee hearings on reauthorization of the Farm Bill on May 6. 

The hearing will take place at Michigan State University’s Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

The Farm Bill is a comprehensive, multiyear piece of legislation hat governs a substantial array of federal farm, food, fiber, forestry, and rural policies and programs, and is set to expire at the end of September 2018.

“Apples are Michigan’s largest and most valuable fruit crop, so it is appropriate that apples are represented at the hearing on Saturday,” said Michigan Apple Committee executive director Diane Smith.

“As a large producer of apples in our state, and a grower who is involved on the state and national levels, I know Chris Alpers will represent the industry well and speak to the many ways in which the Michigan Apple industry benefits from the Farm Bill.”

The committee, under the leadership of Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), will listen to producers from a wide variety of commodities giving an account of the impact of the 2014 Farm Bill and priorities for the 2018 legislation.

Alpers, who will represent the Michigan Apple industry as well as the U.S. Apple Association, where he serves as board member, will focus his testimony on the importance of maintaining and growing funding for crop insurance, research and trade promotion programs.

He will also emphasize the critical need for a reliable, legal and stable workforce, calling on Congress to pass much-needed reforms.

The hearing will be webcast live on the Senate Agriculture Committee website. 

With 11.3 million total apple trees in commercial production on 35,500 acres, Michigan is the second-largest producer of apples in the United States, and distributes apples to 27 states and 18 countries

Photo: www.shutterstock.com


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