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Governor Whitmer Announces Recipients of Federal H.R. 133 Stimulus 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant

Over $1.2 million in federal dollars coming to Michigan’s food and agriculture industry

Lansing—Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced the Michigan recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, funded by H.R. 133. The program offers federal funding to a state department of agriculture to support the specialty crop industry and the impacts on the food system due to COVID-19. These grants focus on marketing, training, certifications, food safety, pest control, and plant health for specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, plants, and flowers.

"My administration is committed to supporting Michigan's rich food and agriculture sector. These federal dollars will directly allow these recipients to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, promote the expansion of value-added agriculture production within Michigan, and support our rural communities," said Governor Whitmer. "I appreciate both USDA’s and Senator Stabenow's leadership and partnership to grow Michigan's farmers and vibrant specialty crop industry."

“Michigan leads the nation in the production of many fruits and vegetables and is one of the top states in the country for agricultural diversity. 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 additional support is a big win for Michigan agriculture, as our producers continue to recover from COVID-19 pandemic challenges. This support will help our farmers keep their competitive edge and continue to provide healthy fruits and vegetables to American families.”

"I am thankful for USDA's ongoing commitment to Michigan producers through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program," said Gary McDowell, MDARD Director. "These investments allow for more innovative research and new economic opportunities in Michigan's specialty crop sector. With USDA's support and Governor Whitmer's bipartisan budget agreement, Michigan's food and agricultural sectors are ready to succeed and thrive." 

Below is the list of grantees:

Applicant Project Title Amount Awarded
Area Community Services Employment and Training Supporting Specialty Crop Growers in Promoting Leadership and Food Safety Certifications While Upskilling Their Workforce. $123,540
Cherry Marketing Institute Support Michigan Tart Cherry Industry by Increasing Demand for Superfruit Among Food and Beverage Developers $125,000
Eastern Market Corporation DBA Eastern Market Partnership Next Generation Eastern Market Wholesale Distribution & Processing Center $68,500
Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo Sustaining the Diversity of Specialty Crops in Michigan Through the Great Lakes Expo $83,200
Great Lakes Hops Great Lakes Hops Collaborative Grow Group Initiative $85,800

Michigan Apple Committee
Social Media Marketing to Raise Brand Awareness of Michigan Apples $125,000
Michigan Apple Committee Trade Advertising and Retail Outreach for Marketing Michigan Apples $75,000
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board Michigan Asparagus for the Digital World $125,000
Michigan Cider Association Developing Cider Making Expertise for the Michigan Apple Industry $125,000
Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association Top Ten MI Nursery Weeds: Optimum Controls in MI New Crops $100,000
Michigan Potato Industry Commission Building relationships and communicating Michigan Potatoes as a key healthy, available, and affordable ingredient. $125,000
Revolution Farms Educating Families About Hydroponic Farming by Getting Kids Excited to Eat More Greens $67,894
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