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E-M:/ Your letter regarding Mich Agriculture and MDEQ



 
Mr. DeVos:
I just received a your personalized letter and a copy of "Rediscovering American Values", Sept 1998.  I haven't read the book yet, but I wanted to share some of the of my thoughts on letter with you.  You wrote:
 
    "On the campaign trail I talk freely about the value of creating an environment in Michigan that makes it possible for agriculture to grow and expand. Proudly, our state is 2nd in the nation for agricultural diversity but to continue on this path, we must reign in the DEQ and end state government regulations that prevent farmers from getting the job done (my emphasis, CPC) .  My philosophy is simple -- if it's good fro agriculture, it's good for Michigan. (again my emphasis, CPC)"
 
You go on to write that Michigan has ..."endless natural resources...."
 
Dick, you are wrong on two counts.  First, Michigan does not have "endless natural resources"; many, yes, but far from endless and when agricultural practices threaten those resources, a thoughtful candidate for Governor might do better to suggest that Michigan, its Governor and its agencies should see what it would take to make both agriculture profitable and to work to not only preserve but enhance those natural resources.  
 
Tourism is high on the list of Michigan activities.  It has been rumored that some farmers have found ways to work together with hunters and fishermen and others to enhance those activities.  
 
Profitability and natural resource enhancement are not mutually exclusive even with Michigan agriculture!.  
 
And as for the comment on "reigning in DEQ" you are undoubtedly commenting on complaints you have heard, but the comment comes across as demeaning to the vast majority of hard working men and women of our DEQ and other regulatory agencies.  We have had too much of that divisive rhetoric from the previous administrations and legislatures including a former DEQ Director.
 
Seems to me you have an opportunity to explore policy directions and language to unite the concerns of Michigan farmers with concerns of the rest of the people of Michigan.  Divisive politics has cost Michigan jobs and reputation.  Why not afford yourself of an improved strategy?
 
Regards,
Dr. Chuck Cubbage
43682 Eagle Lake Drive
Paw Paw, MI 49079