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MDARD food and ag grant will help local company grow and compete

For immediate release: July 21, 2021

LANSING, Mich. - During its regularly scheduled meeting today, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve a Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grant for one Michigan company preparing to expand capacity, serve more Michigan growers, and position themselves to remain competitive with other states. The project is expected to create new jobs and improve energy and operational efficiencies.

"The recently approved MDARD grant will help one local firm improve operations and create good-paying jobs as we continue Michigan's economic jumpstart," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "Michigan is home to so many innovative, entrepreneurial agricultural and food production companies and we must ensure that they have the resources they need to thrive."

"What we're seeing across the country right now is a highly competitive environment in the food and agriculture industry, so projects that improve operations, create good jobs, increase market share, and indirectly support other Michigan-based businesses are critical for long-term success," said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. "We're proud to play a small but important role in these advancements, and we're excited to see what the future holds for our innovative and driven entrepreneurs."

Great Lakes Potato Chips of Traverse City will receive $80,000 to accelerate a $2.4 million, 23,160-square-foot expansion project that will help the company meet a rapidly increasing demand for its award-winning kettle chips. With the increased capacity, Great Lakes Potato Chips hopes to expand from seven states to 14 states within the next five years. The operation sources seven million pounds of Michigan potatoes annually, nearly 100 percent of its total input. The expansion will allow capacity to double and is anticipated to create five new jobs.

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.

For more information about MDARD grants, visit