Midwest Memo: Obama Plans Detroit Visit, Agriculture Peaks in Michigan

Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Agriculture potential expands in Michigan. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow met in Western Michigan on Monday to discuss ways to grow Michigan’s agriculture industry. Vilsack anticipated this will be the best year for farm income in U.S. history, and Stabenow said Michigan can grow its second-largest industry into biotechnology, reports our partner station Michigan Radio. As a farmer told them at their meeting, “agriculture is doing things,” in Michigan, he said. “Industry is not.”

2. President plans Detroit visit. In what will be his eighth visit to Michigan since becoming president, Barack Obama will join union members during Labor Day festivities in Detroit next week. Organizers do not believe the President will walk in the city’s annual parade, but expect he will make a speech at a to-be-determined site afterward, according to the Detroit Free Press. Obama may use the visit as an opportunity to highlight the government’s intervention in the auto industry in 2009.

3. Rock Hall shows some Respect. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will honor Aretha Franklin this November, during the venue’s 16th annual American Music Masters this November. Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Hall in 1987, and wrote in a statement that she is “thrilled and delighted to be honored.” The exhibit, “Lady Soul: The Life and Music of Aretha Franklin” will be a week-long celebration and work in conjunction with the museum’s ongoing “Women Who Rock” series.

Your Picks For The Best Midwest Music

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Who are some of the best bands and performers in the Midwest? The results are rolling in.

Before we list the nominees, though, here’s a reminder that our big event, “Living for the City: Reinventing the Region with Music and the Arts” at the Rock Hall in Cleveland is coming up next week.

In anticipation of that discussion, the Changing Gears team looked at what’s happening to the Midwest Music scene these days.

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