Specialty Crop Grants to Boost Michigan's Growing Food and Agriculture IndustryAgency: Agriculture and Rural Development
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|
|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 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