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Governor Whitmer Announces Grants to Assist Farmers with Specialty Crops


November 9, 2021

LANSING, Mich. —Today, Governor Whitmer joins Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell to announce the state’s recipients of the 2021 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. This program offers federal funding to state departments of agriculture to support the specialty crop industry.  

“I appreciate USDA’s commitment to investing in Michigan’s robust food and agriculture sector,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These grants are a win-win for our farmers, producers, distributors and consumers as we look to increase access to Pure Michigan food and agriculture. I appreciate the USDA and Senator Stabenow’s leadership to secure this critical funding in support of Michigan’s vibrant specialty crop industry.” 

"The programs supported by these federal grants helps strengthen local and statewide distribution channels giving Michigan’s specialty crop farmers access to more markets and supporting the Governor’s New Michigan Economy plan,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “The grants focus on marketing, training, certifications, food safety, pest control, and plant health for specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, plants and/or flowers. Additionally, this funding enhances the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crops.”  

“Michigan leads the nation in the production of many fruits and vegetables and is second in diversity of our crops only to California.  Our fruits, vegetables and nursery crops are not only a source of great pride – they are critical to our state’s economy.” said Senator Stabenow. “This new support is a big win for Michigan agriculture.  It will help our farmers keep their competitive edge and continue to provide healthy fruits and vegetables to American families.” 

Below is the list of grantees:  


Project Title


Awarded Amount

Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

Increasing the Productivity of Michigan Asparagus Through Sustainable Disease Management Tactics



Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

Taking Asparagus Disease Management into the Future with Real-Time, in-Field Sensor Data



Michigan Bean Commission

Enhanced Strategies to Communicate the Value of Michigan Dry Beans: Conventional and Digital Educational Programs to Increase Bean Consumption for Today’s Health-Conscious Consumers.



Michigan Bean Commission

Identification of Improved Dry Bean Varieties, Maturities, and Integrated Weed Management Systems: Managing Production for an Evolving Market Place



Michigan Blueberry Growers Association

Researching Efficacy of Growing Blueberries in In-Ground Containers Through On-Farm Trials

Grand Junction


Michigan Carrot Industry Development Program

Advancing Weed Management in Michigan Carrots through Novel Cultural, Electrical, and Physical Approaches



Michigan Carrot Industry Development Program

Evaluating and Disseminating Soil Amendment Practices to Mitigate Heavy Metal Uptake by Carrot



Michigan Cherry Committee

Branding Montmorency Tart Cherries with a Geographical Indication: Legal and Consumer Research and Development



Michigan Craft Beverage Council

Specialty Crop Grower Directory for the Michigan Craft Beverage Industry



Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association

New Herbicides and New Uses for Michigan Nursery Shrub Containers



Michigan Onion Committee

Combining Pest Control Strategies to Increase Quality of Yield of Michigan Onions

St. Johns


Michigan Potato Industry Commission

Climate Resilience in Potato: Field and Storage Assessment

East Lansing


Michigan State Horticultural Society

Improving Grape Berry Moth Management in Michigan Vineyards

Benton Harbor


Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

Characterizing Apple Storage Practices and Potential Risk of Listeria Contamination



Michigan Vegetable Council

Getting to the Root of the Problem: Increasing Vegetable Plant Establishment and Productivity

St. Johns


Michigan Vegetable Council

Advancing Agbot and Drone Technologies for Sustainable Soil and Weed Management in Michigan Vegetables.

St. Johns


West Central Michigan Horticultural Research, Inc.

Finding Solutions to Cherry Orchard Replant Disorder Using Chemical and Organic Amendments



MDARD International Program

International and Domestic Promotion of Michigan Specialty Crops



For more information about the program, visit and