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Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development grants $430,000 local companies for increased production facilities, sustainability practices and 166 new jobs

LANSING, Mich. - Today, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve grants to five local Michigan businesses, totaling an estimated $430,000. These funds will allow businesses to increase production space, expand services through a sustainable and scalability focus, and create 166 new good-paying jobs. The grants were awarded to D’Still, LLC DBA Motor City Gas, Carnico Foods, Detroit Food Commons, Perdue Foods LLC and MG88 Holland Cold Storage.

"Michigan is a food and agricultural powerhouse. Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s bipartisan budget we continue to make investments allowing local businesses to increase production, create new jobs for Michiganders and help to ensure ‘Made in Michigan' is known around the world," said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. "It's clear the Commission, along with the Whitmer Administration, believes Michigan is the future for our growing food and agricultural industry and the time to invest is now." 

Carnico Foods was created at the beginning of 2022 to fulfill an overwhelming need for USDA facilities within the meat processing industry. Scott and Ali Ferry, owner/operators of Ferry Farms in Litchfield, MI, and a neighboring farmer, expanded into Ferry Farms Wholesale (FFW). Carnico Foods serves as a processing, packaging, private labeling, co-packing, and product development facility born out of a desire to serve the demand from FFW. 

Carnico Foods received an Investment Fund grant of $65,000, creating eight new jobs and dramatically increasing production capacity.  

"We are so grateful for the vision of MDARD in awarding funds to help secure Michigan's food supply, and for the belief in our team for doing our part to help grow Michigan's agricultural industry,” said Alissa Ferry, owner of Carnico Foods.

Established in 2015, D’Still, LLC DBA Motor City Gas (MCG) is a Royal Oak, Michigan-based whiskey distillery that uses 100% grain as its raw material for producing distilled spirits. 100% of that grain is currently Michigan grown, and about 25% of that grain is grown by Motor City Gas at their family farm in Ann Arbor and. MCG has grown 100% year over year in each of its first six years.

MCG was awarded $$65,000 to make upgrades allowing them to increase production and processing. This expansion will allow MCG to launch statewide retail distribution and increase contract distilling for other start-up distilleries. Michigan just passed a law to allow craft distilleries to obtain a tax cut if they utilize 40% or more Michigan grains in their products. 

DFC QALICB, Inc was formed in 2021 as a vehicle to receive New Markets Tax Credits financing for the Detroit Food Commons Development Project. DFC QALICB is owned by Development Detroit Inc. (DDI) and the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN). DDI is a non-profit developer that builds vibrant, resilient communities and expands opportunities for all Detroit residents to succeed. DBCFSN is recognized locally and nationally as a leader in the movement to create a racially just food system. Since 2010, it has led efforts to develop the Detroit People’s Food Co-op and the Detroit Food Commons. 

"The Detroit Food Commons is a development project intentionally rooted in racial justice and economic equity. It pushes back against the persistent racism that under develops majority-Black communities. The skillful combining of public and private dollars has made the Detroit Food Commons a reality. We appreciate the $100,000 in support from MDARD's Food and Agricultural Investment Program,” said Malik Yakini, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

Detroit Food Commons received a $100,000 grant that will allow for a new story, mixed-use building to be developed, creating 47 jobs. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op, a grocery store cooperatively owned by community members, will occupy the entire 14,549 square feet first floor. The second floor will house 3,783 square feet of fully licensed kitchen spaces, a 3,897-square-foot community event and banquet space, and 3,160 square feet of office space for the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.

Perdue Farms, a fourth-generation, family-owned, U.S. food and agriculture company based in Salisbury, MD, plans to invest over $27 million to renovate a former food processing facility in Shelby, MI. The project is driven by substantial growth in Perdue Foods pet treat division with products manufactured under the company’s Spot Farms® and Full Moon® brands, which are distributed in both the U.S. and Canada.

Perdue received a $100,000 grant to create 99 new jobs while supporting Michigan’s agricultural industry and Michigan-based companies. With this production expansion, the company is excited by the opportunity to source agricultural ingredients like apples, cherries, and other fruits from Michigan growers.

“As people are increasingly seeking cleaner labels in what they feed their pets, this new production facility will play a key role in the continued growth of our human-grade pet treat brands,” said Ryan Perdue, Vice President and General Manager of Perdue’s Pet Business. “The central location of this facility in Michigan will help us drive efficiencies in our supply chain, improve freight costs, enable access to a strong local workforce, and allow for multiple phases of expansion within the property’s existing footprint. Importantly, the project grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will help support the creation of nearly 100 new jobs to the area, and we commend their efforts to incentivize agricultural and manufacturing expansion in the state.”

MG88 Holland Cold Storage, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Cold-Link Logistics Holland (CLLH), opened in April 2022 after a 10-month construction period. CLLH provides comprehensive logistics solutions to area growers and manufacturers of frozen meats, fruits, and various grocery products. The company offers product freezing, storage, case picking, cross dock, load consolidation, and logistics services to a wide range of customers. 

MG88 Holland Cold Storage received $100,000, which will allow for a planned expansion to their existing warehouse, this expansion will allow Meat Packers, Fruit Growers, and Grocery Manufacturers access to Freezer Storage Space, which is in limited supply in West Michigan. This investment increases logistics capabilities across the Michigan food and agricultural industry while creating ten new jobs.

"The Mandich Group & the Cold-Link Logistics Team are very excited about the continuing opportunities to expand our business in West Michigan,” said Jacob Russell, general manager of Cold-Link Logistics Holland, LLC.  “Since the opening of our Phase 1 of 150,000 sq ft in March 2022, the demand for our temperature-controlled warehousing and distribution services has been very strong, exceeding our expectations and opening the door to another 75,000 sf in Phase 2. We are developing good working relationships with many local and regional food processors and distributors, supporting their efforts of getting high quality food to the consumer. We’re fortunate to have a good partnership with MDARD and sincerely appreciate the financial support."

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 Michigan.gov/MDARDGrants.

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