Proos kicks off ‘Thank a Farmer’ initiative

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Have you ever wanted to say thank you to a farmer? Well, now you can.

Sen. John Proos recently launched a “Thank a Farmer” initiative, enabling residents to contribute letters of appreciation to Southwest Michigan farmers.

“Michigan is home to more than 51,000 farms — more than 95 percent of which are family owned and operated,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Our farmers are the heart and soul of a food and agriculture industry that contributes $101.2 billion annually to Michigan’s economy and employs more than 923,000 workers — about 22 percent of the state’s employment.

“I am proud to sponsor this program to give Southwest Michigan residents an easy way to thank our farmers for all they do to help feed our families and the nation.”

Residents can visit www.SenatorJohnProos.com/thank-a-farmer to join me in submitting a letter of thanks. Residents can also describe their favorite thing about Southwest Michigan produce. Proos’ office will then forward the comments to farmers throughout the region.

“I encourage residents to send in their thoughts about the abundant and wonderful fresh foods produced by area farmers,” Proos said. “I am sure that our hardworking farmers would love to hear about how the blueberry pie you picked up was the best you ever had or that you appreciate the healthy fruits and vegetables your kids crave.”

Proos said that Michigan is the nation’s leading producer of several foods, including cultivated blueberries, and that July is National Blueberry Month.

According to MSU Extension, Michigan blueberry growers typically produce more than 100 million pounds of 30 different blueberry varieties each year across more than 21,000 acres of farmland — contributing more than $122 million to the state’s economy.

“While my family and I love blueberries and it makes sense to launch this initiative at the start of the blueberry harvest season, this is also about highlighting and saying thanks to all our farmers, who grow one of the nation’s most diverse set of crops and produce,” Proos said.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/audio.