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MDARD food and ag grants aim to spark growth, meet consumer trends
For immediate release: May 12, 2021
Media contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-331-1151
LANSING, MI - During its regularly scheduled meeting today, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grants for four Michigan companies preparing to grow operations, expand product lines, and improve efficiencies. The projects are expected to create several new jobs and increase demand for products grown and produced in the state.
"Michigan has some of the most innovative and driven entrepreneurs in America's food and agriculture industry, and the commitment they have to their communities is unmatched," said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. "We're proud to help support these important projects, which not only creates jobs and accelerates growth, but also benefits farmers, producers, and suppliers throughout the state."
Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery of Redford Charter Township will receive a $50,000 grant to support a $1.2 million expansion project. Ackroyd's is a Scottish-inspired producer of fully cooked meat- and vegetable-filled savory pies, shortbreads, scones, and sausages. The bakery, which sold its products from a brick-and-mortar retail shop for 70 years, moved to a 100percent e-commerce model in 2020. The bakery is pursuing U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection, which will allow for wholesale accounts and co-packing opportunities. Moving from its current 3,000-square-foot facility to its new 7,600-square-foot building will create a more efficient operation and make room for additional equipment. Currently, 97 percent of Ackroyd's raw materials, supplies, and vendors are Michigan-based. With the expansion, the company expects to increase its Michigan-based sourcing by at least 20 percent. In addition to retaining 12 jobs, the project is expected to create four additional new jobs.
Carbon Green BioEnergy LLC of Lake Odessa will receive $85,000 for an $8.7 million project to help the biofuels and animal feed production facility diversify the grades of alcohol it produces. Currently, the company sources corn from more than 600 local Michigan farms. The project will add an additional $11 million worth of corn purchases from Michigan farmers and help provide products to Michigan's various grades of alcohol markets, including low-carbon ethanol for automobile, industrial, beverage and other uses.
Coulter's Farm Properties LLC of New Era will receive $75,000 for a $4.58 million project that will include additional controlled atmosphere rooms for the storage of apples, asparagus, and other seasonal commodities such as peaches and cherries. The project will also include a retooling of the asparagus lines to ease employee fatigue, increase efficiency, and double capacity while reducing food waste. In addition to expanding capacity for local growers, the project will add six new jobs.
Cultured Ferments Co. LLC of Traverse City will receive $10,000 for a $110,061 project that will help the organic kombucha tea producer expand its product line to include cultured hard kombucha-a low-carb, low-calorie beverage with minimal residual sugar. In addition to cultured hard kombucha, the company also plans to launch a new line of cultured hop teas, IPA-inspired beverages that contain no alcohol, carbohydrates, or calories. The hop teas will be brewed with Michigan hop pellets and native botanicas. The project will add two new jobs to the existing three.
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.