Meet the Team

Jodi Gruner

Jodi Gruner

Economic & Community Development Specialist
517-243-8046 | GrunerJ@Michigan.gov

Jodi is an Economic & Community Development Specialist with Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and has been with the department since 2013 covering the west side of the state. She specializes in the dairy sector, attraction projects and is passionate about supporting growers, processors and has a keen interest in emerging food trends and agriculture innovations.

Jodi has over a decade of economic development experience and previously worked for both The Right Place and Grand Rapids Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from the University of Michigan. Jodi grew up on a hobby farm and enjoys any activity outdoors or on the water.

Regions/Counties Served

Region 2:  Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Wexford

Region 4:  Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa

Region 8:  Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Van Buren

 

 

Terri Barker

Terri Barker

Economic & Community Development Analyst
517-331-5272 | BarkerT4@Michigan.gov

Terri is an Economic & Community Development Analyst with Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. In this role, she is the Agriculture Development Division’s food and agriculture innovation lead and is also the business development lead for the Quality of Life Aquaculture Team (a DNR, DEQ, MDARD collaboration).

Terri previously worked as a Policy Director in the State Legislature, Food Programs Manager at The Food Bank Council of Michigan. Through the years, she has worked in various places throughout the food supply chain, as a buyer for a multinational grocery chain and a local co-operative, and on permaculture, organic and biodynamic farms.

Terri is on the Michigan State University’s AgBioTech Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Advisory Committee, the Eriehack 2.0 Advisory Board, and the MSU Center for Regional Food System (CRFS) Advisory Board. She has worked with the Bafokeng Kingdom in South Africa to develop their agriculture sector and has publishing credits in Veterinary Medicine and Pediatric Dentistry Journals.

Terri received her degree in Linguistic Anthropology from University of Michigan.

Regions/Counties Served

Region 9: Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Washtenaw

Region 10: Oakland, Wayne

 

 

Joseph McCulloch

Joseph McCulloch

Economic & Community Development Analyst
517-512-0369 | McCullochJ1@Michigan.gov

Joseph McCulloch is an Economic and Community Development Analyst for Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In his role is to be a resource for local partners and companies as a source for assistance that helps to create and retain jobs through the development, analysis, promotion and support of economic and/or community development programs.

With more than 10 years of experience in economic development, Joseph has worked alongside organizations such as MiWorks!, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and local county economic development partners. Joseph specialized in industrial hemp and is truly passionate about bringing an awareness to the food and agriculture industry in Michigan.

Regions/Counties Served

Region 5: Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw

Region 6: Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola

Region 7: Clinton, Eaton, Ingham

Region 10: Macomb

 

 

Donna LaCourt

Donna LaCourt

Economic/Community Development Specialist
517-614-5518 | LaCourtD2@Michigan.gov

Donna is an Economic/Community Development Specialist with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and has been in this role since 2014. She specializes in forest products and international trade.

Donna holds a BS in Resource Management and Forest Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Forestry from North Carolina State University.

Prior to this position, she was an International Trade Development Manager with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where she worked in both international trade and bioenergy business development. From January 2007 to May 2008, Donna was Michigan’s State Forester and the Assistant Chief of the Forest, Mineral and Fire Management Division within the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Prior to joining the DNR, Donna worked for International Paper for 13 years in a variety of forest resources management and staff positions in the United States, and international assignments in Brazil and Russia.  Donna is both a Certified Global Business Professional and an Economic Development Finance Professional. She is also a board member of the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute and an active member of the American Hardwood Export Council.

Regions/Counties Served

Region 1:  Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft

Region 3:  Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon