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MDARD Awards Over 1.8 Million to Local Agricultural Businesses to Improve Processes Supply Chains and Address Food Insecurities

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) today awarded Value-Added and Regional Food System grants to 24 Michigan producers, processors, and community development organizations. These grants help retain, expand, attract, or develop agricultural processing in Michigan through targeted investments in technology and equipment, feasibility studies, healthy food access, regional food systems, and urban agriculture.

“Governor Whitmer continues to ensure that every person, business, and community can ‘make it in Michigan,’ and MDARD is following suit by making bold investments into the state’s growing food and agricultural businesses,” said MDARD Director Tim Boring. “These investments highlight the unique opportunities available to our local food and agriculture businesses while allowing companies to increase capacity, secure supply chains, and implement climate-smart practices. With Governor Whitmer’s leadership, we’re ensuring Michigan is an essential destination for our food and agriculture industry.”

MDARD received 109 eligible proposals with requests totaling more than $8.6 million. Each proposal is competitively reviewed by a joint evaluation committee that makes recommendations to the MDARD Director for selection of award recipients. Of those, the department awarded over $1.8 million for the following 24 projects, leveraging more than $1.8 million in matching funds:  

DeVries Meats- (Coopersville) - $100,000.  Purchase automated harvesting equipment to increase capacity capability by 30 percent.

Dennis Dairy Farms, LLC dba Dennis Farms Fresh- (Laingsburg) - $31,000. To increase the capacity, sustainability, and efficiency of their cage-free pasture raised egg production via the installation of a Sani-Touch processor. Equipment upgrades to help expand for larger batches of meat birds and meet customer demands for locally produced beef.

Top Hops LLC- (Goodrich) - $21,000. Improve the processing capacity and the product quality of a hop pelletizing line.

Valley Farms- (Imlay City) - $100,000. Acquisition of a carrot polisher to increase carrot production.

Michigan Farm to Freezer (Detroit) - $100,000. Establish a new production facility in Grand Rapids that will allow for the increase in volume and variety of “Grown in Michigan” produce sold in the Great Lakes Region and beyond.  

Field la Femme, LLC (Farm Club)- (Traverse City) - $100,000. Expansion of processing kitchen and farm market with produce preservation, bakery, grain mill, pasta, and tortilla production.

Community Foundation for Muskegon County- (Muskegon) - $70,000. Expansion of equipment and refrigeration capacity at Food, Agriculture, Research, and Manufacturing (FARM).

Lazy Ballerina Winery, LLC- (Saint Joseph) - $40,000. Production expansion to process Michigan grapes and fruit.

Rowlands Family Farm LLC- (Swartz Creek) - $23,099. On-farm expansion to provide the community with access to locally grown, hormone free, USDA beef, pork, and poultry products to increase farm store sales and customer base by taking products to area farm markets.

Lake Superior Oil & Vinegar, LLC- (Sault Saint Marie) - $25,300. Improve production capability to meet the increased demand for new oil & vinegar flavors and infused product lines.

Lake Effect Distillery- (Escanaba) - $100,000. Increase utilization of Upper Peninsula grown grains through expanded milling capacity.  

Shady Side Farm, Inc- (Holland) - $30,000. Expansion of West Michigan specialty grain and dry bean processing project.

Flatwater Farms LLC- (Buchanan) - $74,000. Increase access to fresh organic produce through season extension growing.

Dutton Farm Inc.- (Rochester Hills) - $100,000. Develop an agricultural system to provide access to healthy foods to underserved individuals in Oakland County.

BS Slaughter House LLC- (Grass Lake) - $95,023. Investment in equipment for value-added beef and pork.

Brinks Family Creamery, LLC- (McBain) - $78,700. Market more value-added dairy products to families, increasing sales, and thus improving the viability of a smaller dairy farm.

Request Foods Inc.- (Holland) - $100,000. Expansion of its ready to eat soup production line.

Anavery Fine Foods- (Traverse City) - $59,600. Development of egg processing and packaging facility.

Kids Food Basket- (Grand Rapids) - $100,000. Promote food security and building healthy food systems across West Michigan.

Tim Campbell Farm LLC- (Imlay City) - $100,000. Expansion of a vegetable packaging line.

Myrtle & Maude’s LLC- (Williamsburg) - $99,300. Invest in a new commercial kitchen to expand the market and food hub to offer new and trending value-added items to local and agrotourism customers.

Zingerman’s Creamery LLC- (Ann Arbor) - $100,000. Construction of a receiving garage with running water, a garage door, and hard-line plumbing into the building to become a Grade A facility for dairy products.

St. Julian Wine Co., Inc.- (Paw Paw) - $100,000. Quality & efficiency upgrade through the addition of a premium wine centrifuge.

Swanson Grading & Brining, Inc.- (Ravenna) - $75,000. Equipment expansion to start a small manufacturing line in order to develop the expertise and credibility needed to co-pack finished pickle products.


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