Whitmer at farm tour: Rains took personal, economic toll


CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited a Michigan farm Monday to survey the damage caused by the unusually wet weather that’s prevented planting.

Whitmer and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell toured Smuts Farm in Charlotte to assess the impact the extreme weather has had on farmers and the state’s economy.

In many cases, crops were planted later than normal and are at risk of not maturing for harvest before cold weather sets in. In some cases, farmers have scrapped planting altogether.

The governor says the impact is apparent.

“It’s less about what the fields look like and more about what the farmer’s eyes looked like, frankly. You know, this is a family that was only able to put in half of their crops this year, and it’s going to be very hard for them. There’s a personal toll, but there’s obviously a broader economic toll for our state,” Whitmer said.

The governor Monday also signed a $15 million appropriation bill to make low interest loans available to farmers and agriculture suppliers hard hit by this year’s weather. That money will be used to leverage up to $300 million in loans.

Whitmer said she also spoke with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue about the situation and is optimistic federal support is coming.

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