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dairy

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There’s a new $555 million dairy processing plant planned for St. Johns, north of Lansing.

The Lansing State Journal reports economic development types were calling it:

“A huge deal not only for the region but for the state overall," and "a new level of ag tech production that’s going to enormously impact the entire dairy ecosystem of the whole state.”

Christopher Wolf is a professor in the Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics department at Michigan State University. He joined Stateside to give us some insight into the new facility.

A cow.
Amanda Kerr / Unsplash

Michigan dairy farmers are getting a $510 million boost. Two new dairy processing facilities are scheduled to be built in St. Johns, north of Lansing. The plants are expected to create more than 250 new jobs.

“This is a tremendous win for the dairy farmers in our state, for all of Michigan,” said Governor Rick Snyder, who is a fan of Michigan’s cows.

“We have the second most productive cows in the entire nation, second only to Colorado and they’re not even close in terms of number of cows,” Snyder said. “So, we have the best cows in the country.”

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

Ken Nobis is a dairy farmer in central Michigan, and right now he’s worried about where South Koreans are going to get their cheese.

user: frizz-art / Deviant Art

We've all had plenty to grumble about as this long, cold, snowy winter drags on: sidewalks and driveways to shovel, grueling, slow freeway commutes.

But let's take a moment to try on winter from the perspective of the hard-working Michigan dairy farmer. Winter has a whole different feel when you're hauling yourself out to the barn to milk and feed your herd. 

Karen Curry, a dairy farmer near East Tawas, knows this life very well. She joins us today to tell us how she's coping with this brutal winter weather. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Can you imagine paying $7 for a gallon of milk? That reality isn't too far off if Congress can't get it together and pass a Farm Bill. We found out more about the so-called dairy cliff on today's show.

Then, scientists say Lake Superior is heating up faster than any other lake on Earth. We asked why.

And, Traverse City’s festivals are adding jobs and money to the local economy, some residents have had enough. Can a balance be reached?

First on the show, a move by the Michigan Lottery has caught retailers by surprise, a big surprise.

Earlier this year, the State Legislature said no to a budget request from the Michigan Lottery for money to launch online and smart phone lottery sales. Storeowners who sell lottery tickets thought that was the end of that.

Turns out, they were wrong.

Chris Gautz has been following this story for Crain's Detroit Business, and he joined us today.

fairgrounds
jschumacher / Morguefile

Farms are in the spotlight on Capitol Hill these days. Or, more to the point, the lack of a new Farm Bill.

The old Farm Bill expired October 1st.

A new Farm Bill is more than two years overdue. And so far, congressional leaders have not been inclined to consider passing yet another short-term extension.

Leaders of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees met today, trying to work out differences between their respective bills as they face a deadline of January 1st.

Without a new Farm Bill by that date, trips to the grocery store may bring on serious "sticker shock," especially when you push your cart along the dairy aisle.

Joining us once again to look at the Farm Bill and what might happen if Congress can't pass a new one was Ryan Findlay. He's with the National Legislative Council for the Michigan Farm Bureau. And he was joined by David Schweikhardt, professor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University.

Listen to the full interview above.

According to an audit released today, Michigan food and dairy facilities are not being inspected as often as they should be.

The audit of the Food and Dairy Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found that routine inspections were not always conducted.