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Tudor Dixon rallies MI farmers: Gubernatorial candidate promises change for agriculture

Inside a barn and scattered among discussion Monday, about 75 farmers and ag leaders applauded the Tudor Dixon dialogue, most of which centered around the current administration’s “target” of Michigan farmers. Dixon and incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will face off in the Nov. 8 election. Image credit: Mitch Galloway, Michigan Farm Bureau; Video by Ian Kast, Michigan Farm Bureau
Date Posted: September 20, 2022

ALTO — In 30 minutes, gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon discussed ways to improve Michigan farmers’ way of life.

She promised fewer governmental regulations, better interagency communication, and more commitment to the state’s second-largest industry.

Inside a barn and scattered among that discussion Monday, about 100 farmers and ag leaders applauded the dialogue, which centered around the current administration’s “target” of Michigan farmers.

The “Farmers for Tudor Dixon” rally proved Dixon’s administration is ready to listen to ag, said Carl Bednarski, a sugarbeet producer and president of Michigan Farm Bureau.

MFB’s AgriPac endorsed Dixon in August.

“We've reached out over and over and over with the current administration to address issues and have been turned away,” Bednarski told the Swisslane Dairy Farms Inc. crowd. “It's great to have a fresh person there that’s taking the second largest industry in the state and recognizing it for what it is.”

According to Bednarski, Michigan farmers faced multiple government-related issues in recent years, including the forced closure of Michigan greenhouses, mandatory COVID testing for farmworkers, and overreaching permit changes for the livestock industry.

“No matter where I go, I have farmers tell me that we are under attack in a way that we have never felt before in the state of Michigan,” Dixon said. “And here's their statement: ‘If I were like any other business where I could get up and go into a new building or state, I would get out of here.’”

Dixon said this shouldn’t be the norm and promised to lower state-based farm regulations by 40% in her first four years. Current fine processes are enough to make dairy farmers leave, Dixon added.

“It's shocking to me,” she said. “That's not even in the pandemic; that's every single day how our ag industry is being treated. We were in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago talking to a greenhouse about them being shut down during the pandemic.”

That farm family told Dixon they’d never throw away the letter threatening them with jail time if they continued curbside delivery.

“You could get marijuana curbside, you could get alcohol curbside, but you couldn't go to a greenhouse,” said Dixon, adding the Whitmer administration’s created a “gotcha state,” one where agencies cite various businesses before shutting them down.

“This is instead of them coming around and saying, ‘We want to help you expand; we want to help you to build,’” she told Michigan Farm News. “Last week, I met with three manufacturers who said, ‘We're building outside of the state of Michigan because the state of Michigan has been so oppressive with regulations.’”

Dixon’s running mate is Shane Hernandez of Port Huron.

Hernandez grew up in Croswell.

He remembers fondly the smell of sugarbeet harvest, one of Michigan’s top crops.

“Agriculture is such an important part of my life,” Hernandez said.

“My father’s family settled on a farm as migrant workers picking vegetables in the field in the Croswell area. He worked for 26 years at the pickle factory in Croswell, and when that closed, he went and worked for Helena (Agri-Enterprises). Agriculture gave me the opportunity to go to college — gave me the opportunity to succeed today.”

Dixon and incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will face off in the Nov. 8 election.

View the complete list of AgriPac-endorsed candidates here.

Photo gallery.


Farmers for Dixon for Governor
Media Contacts
Jon Adamy

Jon Adamy

Media Relations Specialist
(517) 323-6782 [email protected]