In his essay Threatening Agriculture, Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry says that it looks as if Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm will veto funding for agricultural extension programs after witholding the October payment for extension. He quotes dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University Jeffrey Armstrong as saying this would be devastating to Michigan’s second largest industry in a variety of ways including the loss of millions more in federal matching funds.
â€œThe Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station system and MSU extension are providing the research, development, and education for Michigan’s emerging green economy,â€ Armstrong said.
If that funding is eliminated, or even if it is withheld, he says it would â€œdestroy our ability to build the one economic sector in which Michigan has an advantage,â€ he says.
What that would mean is that MSU would have to shut down its 83 extension offices — one per county – plus 15 agricultural and biological research stations and some other programs.
Jack notes that we’re not just talking 4H here – we’re talking after school programs in inner cities and a wide range of health and education issues that touch all aspects of our lives in Michigan.
I’ll switch to italics to editorialize: This is about the most senseless thing I’ve ever heard of. Michigan is defined by what we grow and right now it seems like we’re growing stupidity.