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Bureaus and Programs

MDARD's Four Bureaus

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) houses four bureaus and is comprised of nine divisions. See below for a description and contact information of programs we manage.
Vegetables and herbs sold at a farmer's market.

Agriculture Development Bureau

The Agriculture Development Bureau consists of the Food and Agriculture Business Development Division and the Producer Services Division.
Spotted lantern fly, an invasive species, crawling on a branch.

Bureau of Environment and Sustainability

The Bureau of Environment and Sustainability consists of Pesticide & Plant Pest Management Division and Conservation Stewardship Division.
A herd of dairy heifers laying in a pasture.

Bureau of Food Safety and Animal Health

The Bureau of Food Safety and Animal Health consists of the Human Food Division, the Dairy, Feed and Produce Division, and the Animal Industry Division.
Weights and Measures

Laboratory and Consumer Protection Bureau

The Laboratory and Consumer Protection Bureau is comprised of the Consumer Protection Division and the Laboratory Division.

Bureau Program Description Contact
AgD 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. Contact: Donna LaCourt. Acting Economic & Community Development Program Manager
AgD International Marketing Program The mission of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's International Marketing Program is to assist Michigan food and agricultural businesses in developing domestic and international market opportunities to effectively grow their business. View an overview of Michigan's agricultural exports. In conjunction with various partners and service providers, the International Marketing Program offers Michigan businesses a variety of export marketing programs and services. Contact: Elissa Mutschler or Holly Gaffnev. International Marketing Program Coordinators
AgD Grants Program The Agriculture Development Bureau offers a variety of grant programs to meet the needs of Michigan’s food and agriculture businesses. To apply for a grant, visit and login to the MiLogin page.
AgD Michigan Craft Beverage Council The Michigan Craft Beverage Council is a 10-member, governor-appointed board that is advisory to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Craft Beverage Council was established within MDARD to provide for research into Michigan agricultural products, such as fruits, hops and barley, that are used in the production of Michigan wine, cider, beer, spirits and mixed spirit drinks. The Michigan Craft Beverage Council may also take actions that will enhance the marketing and promotion of Michigan agricultural products, such as fruits, hops and barley, that are used in the production of Michigan craft beverages. Contact: Jenelle Jagmin. Director of the Michigan Craft Beverage Council
AgD 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
AgD Producer Security Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) works to help ensure our state's farmers are paid for the grain they transact with Michigan's grain dealers. Commodities covered by the Farm Produce Insurance Authority include corn, soybeans, dry beans, small grains and cereal grains. Learn more about the Producer Security Program at MDARD. Contact: Jeff Haarer. Producer Security and Ag Products Manager
AgD Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program The Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program (commonly known as P.A. 116) protects farmland and open space through voluntary agreements and conservation easements that restrict non-agricultural development and may provide certain tax benefits in exchange for program participation. Contact: Forest (Chip) Kraus
AgD Forestry The Forestry Assistance Program is designed to help private forestland owners manage their forests in an economically beneficial and environmentally sound manner. Conservation District foresters work with private landowners to increase the understanding of the value of forest resources. They also refer landowners to private sector foresters for management plan development, forest management practice implementation, and to verify landowner eligibility for Michigan's Qualified Forest Program (QFP). QFP encourages landowners to actively manage their privately owned forests for commercial harvest, wildlife habitat enhancement, and improvement of other non-forest resources. In exchange for managing their forests in a sustainable manner, the landowner will receive an exemption from the local school operating millage. Contact: Ben Schram
AgD Intercounty Drains County and intercounty drains play a key role in the development of agriculture, roads and highways, residential, and commercial properties by removing excess soil moisture, reducing flood impacts, and improving public health. Agriculture Development Bureau staff chair intercounty drainage boards that oversee drain management and balance upstream benefits with downstream costs between counties. Contact: Mike Gregg
AgD Migrant Labor Housing Migrant Labor Housing is designed to ensure the safety of housing occupied by five or more migrant agricultural workers. ESD inspects and licenses 4,000 living units a year. Contact: Majed Ghussaini
AgD Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Agriculture Development Bureau provides third-party inspection services to verify fruit and vegetable grading under government standards and processor specifications. Staff also inspect and license controlled atmosphere storage rooms. Contact: Patricia Bizoukas, Fruit & Vegetable Program Manager
BFA Food Safety and Inspection Program Michigan's grocery and convenience stores, food processors, food service establishments, and food warehouses are regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection Program of the Food and Dairy Division (FDD), in partnership with Michigan's local health departments. FDD staff works with a variety of food industry, regulatory, consumer, and academic partners to assure the food produced, distributed, and sold in Michigan is safe. By working closely with these partners, FDD has been able to identify and resolve public health issues relating to food safety in a timely manner. In addition to assuring a safe and wholesome food supply, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and local health department food inspectors play a key role in assuring a robust, growing industry. Although the overall number of food establishments has been stable for the past five years, approximately 2,500 new food establishment licenses are issued each year in Michigan. These range from grocery stores and restaurants to small on-farm and specialty food processors and larger processors who distribute their food products worldwide. Food inspectors assist the owners of these new businesses before, during, and after the licensing process, by giving advice and guidance on building design and processing plans; reviewing labels and standard operating procedures to assure food safety compliance; explaining state and federal regulatory requirements; and connecting new business owners with the resources they need from local health departments, zoning officials and other state departments. Food inspectors also provide marketing resources to new business owners that are available through MDARD's Office of Agriculture Development and the Michigan State University (MSU) Product Center. This assistance helps new businesses get off to a great start, which directly translates to new jobs and a stronger economy.
BFA Milk and Dairy Product Safety and Inspection Program Through the efforts of the Milk and Dairy Product Safety and Inspection Program, Michigan consumers are assured the safest and most wholesome milk supply available in the world. Michigan dairy farmers produce about 10.8 billion pounds of milk annually, ranking the state 6th in the nation for milk production. By inspecting Michigan's Grade A and Manufacturing Grade milk-producing farms on a regular basis, dairy inspectors insure that all fluid milk for bottling in the state meets stringent standards. In addition, cheese factories, butter plants and ice cream facilities are checked for sanitation. Samples of dairy products are analyzed at the department's laboratory to assure that standards are met. Dairy staff also protects the public from false labeling of dairy products so consumers can buy with confidence.
BFA Foodborne Illness Outbreaks and Food Recalls The increasingly globalized and complex nature of our food supply requires the Food and Dairy Division and our food safety partners to work more closely than ever to rapidly detect, investigate, and control food contamination incidents. In fact, the CDC has documented increased numbers of reported multi-state outbreaks in recent years ( MDARD and Michigan's 45 LHDs provide the front line investigators for foodborne illness investigations. Staff often coordinates activities with professionals from local, state and federal government and the private sector. Foodborne illness outbreaks are identified by investigation of both unconfirmed foodborne illness complaints and reports of laboratory confirmed illnesses. Close coordination of response efforts prevents illnesses and saves lives through early detection of outbreaks and rapid implementation of control measures. Control measures include but are not limited to seizures, facility license limitations or closures, and food recalls. Division staff participated in intensive traceback investigations throughout the year as part of larger multi-state investigations. Without accurate tracebacks, outbreaks often cannot be tracked to their sources and the root causes of the outbreaks identified. Lessons learned from these investigations are utilized by MDARD, other agencies and food industry decision-makers to improve risk-based food regulatory and prevention strategies thereby limiting future outbreaks from the same causes. Solving Foodborne Illness: Food SAFE Team - Along with close relationships with local health departments, Michigan Department of Community Health and the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDD has created an interagency Food SAFE (Special Actions for Food Emergencies) Team. This team has the mandate to address all food safety emergencies. In conjunction with addressing food safety, samples are taken regularly of food ranging from ground meats to maple syrup to deli salads. Samples may be analyzed for contaminates, foreign objects, illegal additives, fat content or pathogens. Food and Dairy Division 800-292-3939
BFA Animal Production Food Safety The state has a cooperative educational program for veterinarians and livestock producers to help reduce the incidence of drug residues in food animals. There is also a program to improve food safety by enhancing animal health on the farm.
BFA Animal Welfare AID monitors health and care of animals at a variety of licensed facilities including pet shops, animal control and protection shelters, and riding stables. AID works with local law enforcement and animal welfare agencies to investigate complaints of inhumane treatment of livestock and domestic animals.
BFA Avian Monitoring AID works with Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Inc. to maintain Michigan's status as Salmonella pullorum-free.
BFA Bovine Tuberculosis - AID leads Michigan's concerted effort to eliminate TB from cattle and captive deer farms, in partnership with the Michigan Departments of Natural Resources and Community Health, USDA, MSU and the livestock industry. More than 230,000 animals were tested in 2000 and by 2003, every cattle, goat and bison herd in Michigan will be tested.
BFA Equine Infectious Anemia EIA is a disease caused by a virus that produces anemia, intermittent fever, and severe weight loss. Equidae (e.g., horses, ponies, mules and donkeys) are the only known animals affected by this virus. Once an animal is infected with the virus, it is infected for life, regardless of the severity of the symptoms. Animal Industry Division veterinarians conduct the testing and retesting of animals. This is to prevent the spread of the disease by quarantine and/or euthanasia or slaughter. Currently, there is no vaccine to help prevent infections with the EIA virus.
BFA Licensing Responsibilities AID licenses and regulates a variety of animal industries including: livestock dealers, truckers, sales and auction markets, Tenderers (carcass dealers), riding stables, pet shops, animal control/ protection shelters and commercial fish hatcheries and aquaculture facilities.
BFA Reportable Diseases AID investigates all reportable diseases cases to stop the spread of disease to humans and other animals.
BFA Pseudorabies Eradication Pseudorabies is a disease that has had significant economic impact on Michigan's pork industry. There is a unique partnership between state and industry that has allowed Michigan to achieve initial pseudorabies-free status. Swine infected with Pseudorabies do not grow to market weight as fast and often have reproductive problems or die, which translates into a higher price for consumers at the meat counter.
BFA Scrapie Risk Reduction In partnership with MSU and the sheep industry, AID introduced a program that seeks to track the genetic code for the fatal scrapie disease to prevent its spread from flock to flock.
LCP Livestock Testing Lab tests ensure that livestock are disease-free and meet state and federal requirements for shipping across county, state and national borders. Animal Disease Surveillance: 517-284-0444
LCP Motor Fuels Quality

The Laboratory & Consumer Protection Bureau houses the Motor Fuels Quality Program. The administrative personnel for these programs are located at the E.C. Heffron Laboratory. The Motor Fuels Quality Program establishes and regulates the sale and quality of motor fuels through licensing, investigation, inspection and sampling to ensure the fuels that consumers buy contain the proper materials and abide by legal standards.

The Motor Fuels Quality Program Hotline number is 1-800-MDA-FUEL or 1-800-632-3835

Contact: Catharine Hinkley,, Motor Fuels Quality Field Supervisor
LCP Product Labels Product label accuracy is tested to verify nutritional content for consumer and animal foods.
LCP Weights and Measures The Weights and Measures Program, through the enforcement of applicable laws and regulations, prevents economic fraud and deception by testing all weighing and measuring devices. This ensures that when a product is weighed or measured, it is done accurately. The program prevents economic deception by checking the accuracy of over 200,000 commercial weighing and measuring devices, the proper net content of packaged commodities, and proper methods of sale at over 50,000 retail establishments and production facilities in Michigan. The state-of-the-art E.C. Heffron Metrology Laboratory provides support to the program and Michigan industry by providing mass, volume and length calibrations that are in accordance with national standards. Contact: Robert DeRubeis,, Weights and Measures Program Manager
LCP Metrology Laboratory The laboratory provides mass, volume, and force calibrations. The laboratory also serves Michigan's automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical, service and other high-tech industries requiring traceable calibrations by an accredited source. Contact: Nick Santini,, Metrology Laboratory Manager
AgD Agriculture Products Verification MDARD monitors the quality of commercial grain elevators, feed mills, commercial animal feed for livestock and pets, fertilizer and lime, animal remedy products and storage facilities for agrichemicals. Contact: Jeff Haarer,, Producer Security and Ag Products Manager
BES Exotic Pest Control MDARD oversees programs to monitor and control the spread of exotic pests including the Japanese beetle, pine shoot beetle, and Asian long horned beetle. Contact: Rob Miller,, Invasive Species Prevention and Response Specialist or Susie Iott,, Invasive Species Program Specialist
BES Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) Federal and state resources support an on-going public/private partnership, designed to collect pesticide use and resulting residue data, and explore alternative pest management and residue reduction practices.
BES Insect and Rodent Control Program The PPPM Division provides oversight and support to local units of government that conduct eastern equine encephalitis, lyme disease, rodent control, swimmers' itch and mosquito control programs.
BES Nursery/Plant Certification Over 2,000 growers and 5,200 dealers are certified and licensed by MDARD to conduct business in the nursery trade. This ensures pest-free stock for consumers, and assures market access for growers. Inspection includes Michigan-grown and imported plant materials.
BES Pesticide Regulation PPPM is responsible for overseeing the appropriate use of pesticides in Michigan including enforcement, certification, registration and worker protection standards. Contact: Emily Pochubay,, Integrated Pest Management and Public Health Specialist
BES Conservation District Operations Michigan's conservation districts utilize local, state, federal, and private sector resources to deliver programming designed to solve today’s agricultural and natural resource problems. The Division works cooperatively with Michigan's 75 conservation districts who deliver ESD's soil, water, and energy conservation programs directly to landowners.
BES Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) MAEAP is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes, and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. MAEAP also helps farmers with safe and proper disposal of pesticides through the Clean Sweep Program and reporting their water use.
BES Right to Farm Michigan has one of the most effective Right to Farm laws in the nation. The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development to adopts Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices. These GAAMPs provide a standard for noise and odor associated with farm operations protecting farms from being nuisance lawsuits. Additionally, the program assists new or expanding livestock with siting and odor mitigation The program also provides biosolids education and assistance and aquifer dispute resolution.
BES Spill Response Team Through rapid response and land application of recovered materials, Michigan saves tens of millions of dollars in cleanup costs from agrichemical spills.