Specialty Crop Grants to Boost Michigan's Growing Food and Agriculture Industry

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For Immediate Release
October 2, 2014

Media Contact: Heather Throne, throneh@michigan.gov or 517-284-5725
Program Contact: Nancy Nyquist, nyquistn@michigan.gov or 517-284-5735

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams announced Michigan will receive $1.9 million in federal dollars to create, enhance, or expand specialty crop agriculture development ventures across the state.

“Michigan’s diverse food and agriculture sector continues to play a critical role in our economic reinvention," said Snyder. “These grants help fuel the development and expansion of specialty crop production in our state, while strengthening Michigan’s impact in the global marketplace."

MDARD’s allocation from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was increased this year to $1.9 million due to changes in the Farm Bill where the funding originates. Previously MDARD received $1.3 million.

“This funding demonstrates the importance and value of the specialty crop industry in Michigan,” said Clover Adams. “It allows the grantees to further expand the marketing, research and education of these crops that are so vital to our state’s economy.”

The department received a variety of proposals from throughout the specialty crop industry. Grant applications were evaluated, scored, and ranked by a Joint Evaluation Committee composed of MDARD and industry representatives not directly involved in any grant proposals.

Projects selected to receive funding are:

Allen Neighborhood Center  $75,000 
Cherry Marketing Institute $75,000
Cherry Marketing Institute $79,088
Commercial Maple Syrup Producers of Michigan $49,016
Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design $27,527
Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. $80,448
Forgotten Harvest $23,488
MBG Marketing $20,994
Michigan Apple Committee $35,000
Michigan Apple Committee $75,000
Michigan Asparagus Industry Development Program $11,720
Michigan Bean Commission $74,994
Michigan Carrot Committee $67,176
Michigan Cherry Committee $57,196
Michigan Christmas Tree Association $34,084
Michigan Farm Bureau $145,000
Michigan Floriculture $66,317
Michigan Food & Farming Systems $69,417
Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council $75,000
Michigan Maple Syrup Association $75,000
Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association $75,000
Michigan Potato Industry Commission $56,000
Michigan Potato Industry Commission $20,079
Michigan Vegetable Council $73,729
Michigan Vegetable Council $57,000
National Grape Cooperative $75,000

The grants are used to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan specialty crops through processors, agri-businesses, producers, local units of government, and legislatively authorized commodity boards in Michigan; including, but not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, increased knowledge and consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, good agricultural practices, good handling practices, and good manufacturing practices.

The goal of USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is to promote and increase opportunities for specialty crop producers. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands received grants this year, totaling $67 million. Visit www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp to review the 2014 project summaries and view a list of awards by location


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