Over the years, Morbark has had thousands of visitors; but it’s not every day a U.S. Senator tours the factory.
But that’s just what happened on Friday, May 29, when Sen. Debbie Stabenow came to speak at the Central Michigan Manufacturers Association Board of Directors meeting that Morbark hosted.
As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a member of the Senate Energy, Finance and Budget Committees, as well as a native of mid-Michigan, Sen. Stabenow is in a unique position to influence policies that can greatly affect Morbark and other area manufacturing companies.
“My basic philosophy is that we don’t have an economy unless we make things and grow things, and that’s what we do here in Michigan,” Stabenow said. “So as I’ve been in local government, state government and now federal government, I’ve always tried to focus on the committees and the areas that focus on manufacturing and agriculture.”
“People are beginning to understand that you have to make things in this country to be able to have a middle class,” she continued. “The challenge is now how to move that into policies that support what we need to grow.”
Stabenow met with members of the CMMA to address concerns and answer questions on legislation that affects manufacturing companies, including tax policy, rural development funding, fair trade and health care. The CMMA, a group of local manufacturers located in Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta and Montcalm counties, formed about one and a half years ago to share best practices.
After speaking with the CMMA Board, Stabenow took a tour through the Morbark factory and listened, with interest, as Morbark President Jim Shoemaker Jr., also chair of the CMMA Board, spoke about Morbark’s work in forestry and biomass energy.