Jan 6, 2023
IFPA, industry groups react to Sen. Stabenow’s stepping down

UPDATED: Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s service to agriculture is being commended by fresh produce industry groups, including the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA).

On Jan. 5, the Michigan Democrat, who has represented the Wolverine State in the U.S. Senate since 2000, announced she will not seek reelection next year.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow

“The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is incredibly grateful for Senator Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) deep and decades-long commitment to the fresh produce industry,” IFPA said in a news release. “As Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Senator Stabenow has been steadfast in looking out for the best interests of not just the Michigan agricultural community, but [also] the specialty crop and produce sector as a whole.”

Stabenow’s current term ends on Jan. 3, 2025.

he Michigan Farm Bureau commended the senator’s work.

Carl Bednarski, a Tuscola County grains grower and the state’s farm bureau president, lauds Stabenow as a dedicated supporter of Michigan agriculture.

Bednarski said Stabenow understands the unique needs of Michigan’s diverse agriculture and has always advocated for the state’s farmers at the national and international levels. Bednarski cited the senator’s authoring the first-ever specialty crop title in the 2008 Farm Bill.

“Her leadership in voluntary conservation efforts have resulted in meaningful legislation, including the recent Growing Climate Solutions Act, which will help expand developing carbon markets and benefit stewardship in Michigan and beyond,” he said in a release.

“We look forward to working closely with Sen. Stabenow on the upcoming Farm Bill and thank her for working on behalf of farmers in Michigan and across the country,” Bednarski said.

IFPA called Stabenow instrumental in ensuring that produce and specialty crops remain an integral part of the Farm Bill, and that the industry’s priorities are elevated and included in federal programs.

“Though her plan to not seek reelection is bittersweet, IFPA deeply respects Senator Stabenow’s decision and looks forward to working closely with her for the remainder of her term,” IFPA said in the release.

IFPA chief policy officer Robert Guenther praised the senator’s work.

“It has been an honor and my pleasure to work with Senator Stabenow and her staff all these years,” he said in the release. “Her wisdom and leadership on ag issues is second to none and I am happy to know she will be in the Chair for the upcoming Farm Bill.”



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