Agriculture Development Division

The Agriculture Development Division delivers expertise and leadership to support economic development in Michigan's food and agriculture industries.

Division Director: Peter Anastor, 800-292-3939


How can we help you?

Economic & Community Development

International Marketing

Grants Program

Grape & Wine Industry Council

Agriculture Commodity Organizations


Economic & Community Development

The Agriculture Development Economic & Community Development Team delivers expertise and leadership to support growth of Michigan’s food, agriculture and forest product industries and communities. Working hand-in-hand with community partners and other state and federal agencies, the team strives to create a culture of seamless customer service delivery to existing and new businesses. The team connects businesses to technical and development resources including funding and financing, regulatory assistance or international trade.

See how the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development specialists assist your business.

Contact:  For more information on business development resources, contact the specialist serving your area. See map here.


International Marketing Program

The International Marketing Program assists Michigan food and agriculture businesses in developing trade opportunities to effectively export their products and achieve economic growth.

For information on the programs and services that the International Marketing Program offers in conjunction with various partners and service providers, please see the International Marketing Program’s web page.

Contact:  Jamie Zmitko-Somers, Program Manager, International Marketing Program 517-284-5738


Grants Program

MDARD's Agriculture Development Division currently offers two competitive grant programs:

USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant:

The Specialty Crop Block Grant is funding that comes to Michigan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) via the Farm Bill.  The sole purpose of these dollars is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.  Specialty crops include: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Value-Added/Regional Food System Grant:

This grant is to promote the expansion of value-added agriculture production, processing, and access within the state in order to enhance Michigan’s food and agriculture industry.  Proposals submitted must detail how the project will establish, retain, expand, attract and/or develop value-added agricultural processing in Michigan, and/or expand or develop regional food systems or access to healthy food in Michigan.

See the Grants & Funding Opportunities page for more information, MDARD - Grants & Funding Opportunities

Contact:  Heather Throne, Outreach Specialist, Agriculture Development Division, 517-712-0841


Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council

The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council has been established within the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to provide for research, education and the promotion of the Michigan wine grape and wine industry, to stimulate economic development through value-added, sustainable agriculture.

For more information about the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, please visit

Contact: Karel Bush, Executive Director, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, 517-284-5742


Michigan Agricultural Commodity Organizations

Michigan is home to many commodity organizations representing the state’s diverse agricultural sectors.

View a list of commodity groups and contacts, (PDF)