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Rep. Filler leads effort to ensure Michigan’s agricultural producers can export products
RELEASE|March 23, 2022
Contact: Graham Filler

State Rep. Graham Filler today led the House in approving a bipartisan plan he helped introduce to ensure Michigan agricultural products may be exported to other countries.

Filler, of Clinton County, said certain countries require imported goods to be verified for safety with certificates of free sale. The plan will clarify state law to ensure the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is authorized to issue these certificates for products grown or manufactured in Michigan.

“Our local farmers and agricultural producers are outstanding. They grow food and produce products that are served up at dining tables throughout Michigan and around the world,” Filler said. “This plan supports the hardworking men and women in Michigan’s agricultural industry by making sure they can continue to seamlessly export food and goods.”

Currently, MDARD does issue certificates of free sale for agricultural goods, verifying that the goods comply with state regulations. However, although state law explicitly authorizes the department to issue certificates for food, the law does not clearly include authority for other products.

To ensure Michigan farmers and manufacturers can continue exporting agricultural products, Filler and other legislators introduced House Bills 5742-5748. The plan would give MDARD clearer, broader authority to issue certificates of sale. In addition to food, the legislation would set guidelines to issue certificates of free sale for dairy products, commercial feed, pesticides, fertilizers, and nursery stock. Filler’s measure, House Bill 5748, protects the exportation of dairy products.

According to MDARD, Michigan producers exported nearly $2 billion worth of food and agricultural products in 2018.

House Bills 5742-5748 now advance to the Senate for further consideration.

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