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New farm survey shows confidence is high

EAST LANSING, MI (WTVB) - The Michigan State University Product Center Tuesday at the Ag Expo debuted a new index that measures agricultural industry confidence. The first results, according to MIRS, show the industry is optimistic about where Michigan agriculture is. With 100 being a neutral point, those surveyed for the Michigan Ag and Food Index, MAFI, put their overall confidence in Michigan's food and agriculture business climate at 147. That's larger than sales at 133, employment at 132 and investment at 122.  The sample was 100 questionnaires sent to members of the Food and Agriculture Roundtable, composed of farmer, agribusiness leaders and food processors. Governor Rick Snyder said yesterday that the agriculture industry in Michigan was exciting. He also said he'd try to help on one of the MAFI's more negative numbers: talent. Industry leaders were asked what keeps them up at night, and 22 of the 100 respondents cited labor issues. However, the results of the MAFI indicate that regulation is the biggest thing keeping ag leaders up at night. In an open-ended response, 34 people cited regulations as something that kept them up at night, and another 18 cited government policy.