Michigan Food and Ag Producers to Expand, Create Jobs with MDARD Grants

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For immediate release: March 21, 2018
Media contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-284-5725
Program contact: Peter Anastor, 517-284-5777

LANSING, Mich. – During its regularly scheduled meeting today, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grants for eight food and agriculture projects in Michigan. The projects will help expand and grow companies in the processed meat, milk, vegetables, beer, and cider segments, as well as support the growth of innovative products that will lead to more efficient agricultural operations.  

These projects include Foremost Farms, which will invest $58 million for a new dairy processing facility in Greenville, Michigan, under their subsidiary Greenville Venture Partners LLC. The other seven projects will create a total of 67 new jobs and lead to an investment of approximately $9.3 million in seven areas throughout Michigan. 

“One of the great things about these grant-supported projects is that they illustrate the limitless opportunities Michigan has to grow the food and ag industry and create jobs in rural areas,” said MDARD Director Gordon Wenk. “The Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grants are more than just an investment in business. They’re an investment in the state’s economy, its people, and its future.”

The Greenville Venture Partners LLC project will be supported by a $500,000 performance-based grant from MDARD to construct a 55,000 square-foot dairy processing facility. The new facility will help process a portion of the current excess milk supply in Michigan and will lead to the creation of 33 new jobs in Greenville. Its parent company, Foremost Farms, is a farmer-owned milk processing and marketing cooperative with approximately 1,500 members and annual sales of $1.5 billion. It is the nation’s eighth-largest cooperative and ranks 25th in annual sales among the Top 100 U.S. dairy processors. It focuses on the creation of tailored and innovative milk solutions that meet the needs of customers around the world. 

Morgan Composting Inc. of Sears, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant for building renovations and new machinery and equipment to support the growth of a new pellet mill that will convert livestock waste into fertilizer material for the agriculture industry. The project will require an investment of $421,000 and will lead to the creation of five new jobs at a facility in Marion, Michigan.

Hausbeck Pickle Company of Saginaw, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant for new machinery and equipment to package products in a stand-up pouch. The project will require an investment of $475,300 and will lead to the creation of 15 new jobs at its existing facility in Saginaw.

Big O’ Smoke House of Caledonia, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant to expand their current operations and to add new machinery and equipment. The project will require an investment of $356,800 and will lead to the creation of seven new jobs at their exiting facility in Caledonia. The project will include a 2,100 square-foot expansion and the addition of new smokers, chillers, and freezers.

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company LLC of Muskegon, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant to construct a new 15,000 square-foot office and brewery production facility and to install new machinery and equipment in Downtown Muskegon. The project will require an investment of $1.8 million and will lead to the creation of five new jobs in Muskegon. 

RRR Meat Processing of Buckley, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant to construct and equip a new 6,000 square-foot, USDA-inspected meat processing facility in Grayling. The project will require an investment of $354,150 and will lead to the creation of 10 new jobs at the new facility. 

Vander Mill LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant for new machinery and equipment to support their growth in cider products. The project will require an investment of $252,400 and will lead to the creation of 10 new jobs at their existing facility in Grand Rapids.

Prolime Agriculture LLC of Washington, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant to construct and equip a new 38,000 square-foot facility to process pelletized lime and gypsum in Laingsburg, Michigan. The project will require an investment of $5.7 million and will lead to the creation of 15 new jobs at the new facility.   

“These grants will have a significant impact on the ability of these Michigan companies to grow and innovate, as well as support their communities with jobs and local investment,” said Peter Anastor, Director of MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division. “We’re excited to watch these companies continue to grow, and we’re proud to help accelerate their efforts, which will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy and its reputation as a national leader in food and agricultural production.” 

The Food and Agriculture Investment Program provides financial support for food and agriculture projects that help expand food and agriculture processing to enable growth in the industry and Michigan’s economy. Projects are selected based on their impact to the overall agriculture industry and their impact to food and agriculture growth and investment in Michigan.

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