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PHOTO RELEASE: MDARD Director Gary McDowell Visits Bay Port Fish Company & Cooperative Elevator

Bay City, MI - Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell visited several local food and agricultural businesses in the Thumb area today Bay Port Fish Company and Cooperative Elevator. Throughout 2022, McDowell is traveling across the state meeting with food and agricultural businesses as they advance during Michigan's economic recovery and revitalization.

"As I continue to meet with business owners across our state, I am inspired by how the future of agriculture innovation is being created right here in Michigan," said McDowell. "Companies like Bay Port and Cooperative Elevator are implementing effective and successful rural development strategies leading to local job creation, community investment and better sustainability practices to combat climate change."

Bay Port Fish Company is a small family-owned commercial fishery founded in 1895 and located in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay. Many owners have operated it, and it is currently owned by Tod and Forrest Williams’ heirs. The Williams family has operated the fishery for over 39 years. The Williams family purchased it from Henry Englehard in 1978 and has run the fishery ever since. 

Fresh, smoked, and frozen fish can be bought from the retail store in Bay Port. Bay Port takes great pride in providing healthy local Great Lakes fish to the surrounding communities. 

Cooperative Elevator Company is a farmer-owned cooperative established in 1915 to provide agricultural production supplies and marketing services for farmers in the “Thumb” region of Michigan. The cooperative currently supplies approximately 1,100 member-owners across the state with products and services ranging from certified seed to state-of-the-art agronomic tools that help maximize production while preserving the sustainability of the land farmers have worked for generations. Cooperative Elevator provides quality services, markets, and products grown in the United States to enhance the value of the cooperative.

Throughout 2022, Director McDowell is meeting with Michigan’s food and agricultural businesses having conversations focused on how they can continue to thrive in Michigan's new economy and how best MDARD can assist their continuous development.