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MDARD Director Boring Attends Industry 4.0 Meeting with West Michigan Food Processors Association; Discusses Regenerative Agriculture, Climate Resiliency and Ongoing Innovation

COOPERSVILLE, MI Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring participated in West Michigan Food Processors Association's Industry 4.0 meeting discussing interaction points between technology, regenerative agriculture, and climate smart farming practices.  

Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is defined as the convergence of digital and physical technologies or digitization within the manufacturing sector and is a collection of six emerging technology sectors including connected factory, data analytics, modeling, augmented and virtual reality, additive manufacturing, advanced robotics, and cybersecurity.

"MDARD has a long-standing and storied commitment to growing our food and agriculture sector, and we continue to flourish through partnerships like West Michigan Food Processors Association," said Director Boring. "Governor Whitmer's bi-partisan budget emphasizes the need for innovation and sustainability through technology and climate-smart farming practices. When we combine technology with climate-smart farming practices, we catapult our food and agriculture communities into a successful future while ensuring continued viability."

Since 2017, the West Michigan Food Processing Association (WMFPA) has supported West Michigan's food processing sector and the regional supply chain, focusing on its six strategic pillars: economic development, education, incubator/innovation, supply chain logistics, healthier processed foods, and sustainable practices.

Over the past three years, the WMFPA intensified support in areas of economic development, education, and incubator/innovation, which has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in potential economic development investment in the West Michigan region and the completion of a stage-2 incubator facility to support the sector through industry 4.0 product innovations and food experiments/STEM training with students throughout the region.