LASATA: Ag Day a tribute to southwest Michigan’s farming heritage

March 23 is Ag Day in Michigan. It’s a time we set aside each year to recognize our state’s food and agriculture industry and the people who dedicate their lives to it.

For many southwest Michigan families, agriculture is more than a job; it’s a way of life and a family tradition.

The Historical Society of Michigan maintains the Centennial Farm Program, which according to the society, recognizes farms that have remained in the same family for 100 years or more and maintain 10 or more acres of land. The program also highlights recognized farms’ contributions to Michigan’s development.

The 21st Senate District is home to 20 certified centennial farms and a remarkable 19 sesquicentennial farms — those that have been run by the same family for at least 150 years. You may have seen one or more of these farms on your travels through the district — they’re easy to spot because of the iconic, prominent green-and-yellow markers typically placed on the property.

As important as agriculture is for our families, it’s just as important for our state.

We can thank agriculture for so much of what we eat, wear, and even use. But beyond its benefits to consumers, agriculture provides for and sustains a significant portion of our state’s entire workforce.

Through their hard work, people in the industry contribute billions to our state’s economy each year through sales of grown-in-Michigan and made-in-Michigan products throughout the world.

I invite all southwest Michigan families to join me on March 23 as we recognize and celebrate all who help make agriculture such a vitally important part of our state and nation.

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