Aug 3, 2023Michigan Pomesters recognize Sen. Stabenow’s service
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has been serving Michigan as a state and U.S. legislator since the late 1970s, is the Michigan Pomesters’ 2023 Fruit Person of the Year.
Stabenow spoke at the group’s 12th annual Ridgefest in Conklin, Michigan, on Aug. 3, during a tour stop at Ridgeview Orchards. The honor goes to individuals who have brought innovation and insight to the state’s tree fruit industry, according to a news release.
“Over the years, Michigan’s apple growers have stood by my side supporting my efforts to create the first specialty crop title in farm bill history recognizing Michigan’s fruits, vegetables, and diverse crops, and making sure that Michigan has been reflected on every page of our nation’s farm bill,” Stabenow said. “I am so proud to be your friend and partner. Thank you for this recognition. Our work together makes this honor especially meaningful.”
As chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, she has led the writing of more farm bills than any current member of Congress, shaping federal farm policy through landmark farm and food legislation. She recognizes the importance of agriculture as the second-largest industry in Michigan, according to a news release from the Michigan Apple Committee.
Diane Smith, executive director of the committee, introduced Stabenow.
“It was a great honor to introduce the senator, who many refer to as the ‘specialty crop queen’ for all her support of agriculture including specialty crops,” Smith said in the release. “Our industry is fortunate to have such a champion at the federal level, advocating for our safe, quality food supply grown right here.”
Stabenow, a Democrat who was a Michigan state representative and senator from 1979-94, served a four-year term in Congress starting in 1997 and has been a U.S. senator since 2001, winning four elections. She has been a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and started her second term as its chair in 2021. In January, she announced she would not seek re-election in 2024.
The Michigan Pomesters have honored service to the industry through the Fruit Person of the Year since 1963.