LANSING, Michigan — A resolution proclaiming March 20 a “meatless” day is being called a “meat-headed” decision by the state’s top agriculture groups.
The resolution, sponsored by the Great American Meatout of Michigan, was endorsed by Mich. Gov. Jennifer Granholm and “encourages the residents of this state to choose not to eat meat.”
The resolution is critical of dairy and livestock foods, blaming them for sickening millions of Americans and says vegans and vegetarians are on the rise, with increased benefits of meat-free diets.
But many in the farm industry, and consumers, are outraged.
“Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s resolution is quite possibly the most meat-headed idea yet coming from a tone-deaf administration that is out of touch with agriculture and the jobs and opportunities we provide to Michigan citizens,” said Jim Byrum, president of Michigan Agri-Business Association, in a released statement.
Byrum is one of many who are asking for an apology from the governor. So far, none has been issued, but her office acted quickly in later declaring the same day Michigan Agriculture Day.
The office of Michigan’s Farm Bureau could not yet say whether the follow-up resolution will be enough, but indicated there may be more efforts to get the Governor to issue an apology.
On March 17, the Michigan Senate voted 25-12 in favor of a resolution prompting the Governor to rescind the no-meat proclamation.
The Michigan Agriculture Commission also met, and is asking Granholm to retract her proclamation.
The Governor’s press secretary, Elizabeth Boyd, told Farm and Dairy Granholm’s second resolution was not necessarily a reaction to criticism over the first, but “certainly we wanted to reaffirm our commitment to the agriculture community.”
Members of the agriculture community are hoping for the same, as they represent the state’s No. 2 industry, with an economic impact of $71.3 billion.
The Secretary said the Governor’s office receives these kinds of resolutions all the time, and for all kinds of functions.
“Nobody should take this too seriously,” she said.
But Farm Bureau and others are taking it very seriously, and are concerned if whether the most recent resolution will be enough to fix damages from the first.
“The train is already off the track,” said Jill Corrin, media relations manager for Michigan Farm Bureau. Corrin said some of the accusations made in the proclamation against meet and dairy products, will be difficult to repair.
More on this story soon, including an interview with Michigan Farm Bureau President Wayne Wood, who spoke with Granholm Wednesday (March 17) morning.