Interlochen Public Radio’s Points North program recently spoke with Michigan Department of Agriculture Director Donald Koivisto about many aspects of farming in Michigan like biofuels and value added agriculture along with challenges to farming operations like food safety, water withdrawals, re-zoning and taxes on farms and availability of migrant labor. Agriculture is one of the top three job producers in the state and in terms of agricultural diversity, Michigan is second only to California with over 200 commercially grown products. Listen to Michigan Farming on Points North.
The Michigan Agricultural Tourism website says that over one million Michigan residents are employed in the food and agriculture sector and that the current and potential impact on Michigan’s economy is $60.1 billion and growing and that:
As a value-added marketing opportunity, agricultural tourism is considered increasingly important to Michigan’s economic health and diversification… Opening up farms to visitors is increasingly becoming a way for Michigan growers to create a dependable source of revenue to ride out the uncertainties of weather, disease and crop prices.
One way that farms are opening up and adding value is through wine tourism. In an effort to lend a hand, we’ll be featuring Michigan’s wine trails as part of our celebration of Michigan Wine Month.