MDARD Announces Value Added and Regional Food Systems Grant Project Awardees

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For immediate release: February 1, 2018
Media contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-284-5725
Program contact: Heather Throne, 517-712-0841

LANSING, Mich. – Today, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced 10 projects awarded funds under the competitive Value Added and Regional Food System Grant Program.

"Individually, these projects may appear modest, but the collective impact on Michigan jobs and industry growth is significant," said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. "We often forget that most people are employed by small businesses, so when we help support the innovations, expansions and developments of food producers throughout the state, it impacts individuals, communities and the entire state."

The department received 85 proposals with requests totaling more than $8.3 million. Of those, MDARD awarded more than $1.1 million for the following 10 projects, which leverage more than $1.3 million in matching funds:

  • Farm to Freezer – Detroit – $125,000. Installation of cutting-edge equipment to flash freeze Michigan grown fruits and vegetables.
  • Johnston’s Meat LLC – Peck - $125,000. Earn a U.S. Department of Agriculture "inspection through processing" certification and install new equipment that will increase the sale of value added meat products.
  • Todd Greiner Farms Packing LLC – Hart - $125,000. Install value added equipment for fresh, microwaveable, bagged asparagus.
  • Superior Honey Farm LLC – Chassell - $11,100. Expand processing and develop a new product line of creamed honey.
  • Snackwerks of Michigan LLC – Battle Creek - $125,000. Build a contract bakery food production line and enhance capability.
  • Byron Center Meats LLC – Byron Center - $124,700. Establish a federally-inspected mobile harvesting unit to enhance the marketing of Michigan livestock producers’ meats.
  • Wunsch Farms – Traverse City - $125,000. High-tech packing infrastructure to catalyze Michigan fresh sweet cherry industry.
  • Oomen Farms Ltd. – Hart - $125,000. Install equipment for value added processing of Michigan-grown carrots, zucchini, and other vegetables to a more consumer- and processor-ready form.
  • Mackinaw Trail Winery, Inc. - Petoskey - $110,000. Custom bottling service for “Tip of the Mitt” hard cider and sparkling wine producers utilizing apples, grapes, cherries, and other fruits.
  • Stuart Family Organics LLC – Custer - $9,700. Launch a farm-to-customer, special transitory food unit in Western Michigan.

MDARD promotes and manages several competitive grant programs through the Agriculture Development Division. More about these programs can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/mdardgrants.

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