U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently named five new members to the Michigan USDA Farm Service Agency. This is the group that oversees the agriculture community in the state.
The Farm Service Agency committee serves as a liaison between the USDA and agriculture producers by keeping farmers informed and hearing appeals and complaints.
Joel Johnson the state Farm Service Agency’s executive director. He said new members include committee chair, Sally McConnachie from Deckerville, Blaine Baker from Clayton, Ben Lacross from Lake Leelanau, Matt Schwab from Standish, and Isaiah Wunsch from Traverse City.
“These are people who are hand picked who are believed to be folks who can represent their peers in their area. That they are able to ensure that USDA’s programs are supporting agriculture and that everything’s done in the way that it should be”.
Johnson said in the agriculture community it’s an honor to be named to the committee to be able to help farmers who face unique circumstances.
“There may be extenuating circumstances for a particular practice that they’re doing that they’re saying gee because of some disaster or something like that there’s some reason that they were not able to fulfill all of the requirements of their contract and they would like a little more time on it. Something like that”.
Johnson said committee members are scheduled to have their first meeting towards the end of January. He says they serve one year terms then Secretary Perdue either replaces or renews them.