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Michigan senator honored with soil stewardship award
Washington, D.C., March 26, 2014 – In recognition of her continued support for food, agriculture, and natural resources research, Debbie Stabenow, U.S. senator from Michigan, was presented with the 2014 Excellence in Soil Stewardship Award by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The award recognizes policy makers whose exemplary leadership has strengthened the U.S. agricultural enterprise and the natural resources that support it. March 25 was National Ag Day, and SSSA held the ceremony as part of their celebration of the day.
“I consider it my responsibility to remind people that there are 16 million workers in agriculture,” says Senator Stabenow. “We are blessed in America to have safest, healthiest food supply, and I’m happy to be a part of it.” For this reason, SSSA honored Stabenow with this award.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Stabenow’s leadership was instrumental in the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, a bill that not only affects farmers and ranchers, but also has significant impacts for the agriculture research community.
Included in the Farm Bill was the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a new nonprofit entity that will work to build partnerships with private stakeholder groups and generate additional sources of funding for food, agriculture, and natural resources research. Stabenow was one of the original supporters of the Foundation and fought diligently for its inclusion in the final bill.
Christine Sprunger, a Michigan State University graduate student, presented the award to Stabenow. “It was an honor to meet Senator Stabenow,” said Sprunger. “The importance of the Farm Bill cannot be overstated as it brings security to thousands of American farmers and scientists doing important research. Without her leadership as Chairwoman, the bill likely would have been weaker and might not have passed."
Sprunger was visiting Washington D.C. with more than 50 other scientists and students in the fields of agronomy, crop, and soil science from around the country. The group was in town to build support for federally funded agricultural research during Congressional Visits Day, also on March 25.
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