DETROIT (WWJ) – Speaking before a packed business luncheon in Detroit, Governor Snyder was also talking about agriculture — calling it a potential “rock star” industry for Michigan.
“That’s an industry that we don’t give enough credit to, there is huge employment, there’s huge opportunity,” said Snyder.
As President Obama signed Farm Bill on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Snyder spoke to roughly 500 local Chamber of Commerce business leaders at the MGM Grand Hotel.
On track is an industry to reach $100 billion in commerce annually, Snyder says Michigan Agriculture exports are up 16 percent.
“Ag(riculture) is going to continue to be a rock-star industry for the next 10-20 years because of export opportunities, the piece we should be doing is more research and development and then export that value added product,” he said.
The governor was candid when he said there has been one major stumbling block.
“It’s about the U.S. customs plaza that is used by the U.S. government to protect the U.S. border, in terms of keeping us all safe,” said Snyder. “Well, the U.S. government which will use this to protect the United States said , they don’t want to pay for the plaza nor do they want to pay to rent for the plaza.”
Snyder made the comparison that the government is proposing to build a fence to protect the nation’s borders from Mexico for billions of dollars — yet they won’t spend 250 million to staff the busiest border crossing in the country.
Snyder said he is honored that the president chose to sign the Farm Bill in Michigan.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said several Republicans were invited, but all declined to attend.
Conservatives remain unhappy with the bill and its generous new subsidies for interests ranging from Southern peanut growers and Midwest corn farmers to the Northeast maple syrup industry.
They also wanted much larger cuts to food stamps than the $800 million Congress finally approved in a compromise. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters he did not expect the cut of about 1 percent of the food stamp budget to have a significant impact on recipients.
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