Skip to main content

MI Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development Approves Two Grants Supporting Business Expansion

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development today approved two grants totaling $125,000 to improve local supply chains, generate new opportunities for farmers and food-based business, and create jobs within their communities. Hartford Farm Supply, LLC will receive $60,000 and Micah 6 Community will receive $65,000 in Food and Agriculture Investment Program (FAIP) grant funding through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

FAIP is designed to provide financial support for projects that help expand food and agriculture processing to enable growth in the industry and support Michigan's economy. Projects are selected based on their impact on the overall agriculture industry, as well as food and agriculture growth and investment in the state.

"MDARD and Governor Whitmer are committed to advancing food and agriculture business development in a way that reflects our values, creates economic advancement opportunities and produces good-paying jobs in Michigan,"  said MDARD Director Tim Boring. "The Governor's budget continues her unwavering support for Michigan s food and agriculture community as demonstrated by the proposed Farm to Family Program. The FAIP grant investments announced today underscore exactly why Michigan is the place to be for food and agriculture businesses."

Founded in 2012, Micah 6 Community is a small community development organization located in Pontiac that manages 1.25 acres of farm space. The group is committed to growing community gardens, creating a place to cook food, and encouraging budding entrepreneurs.

The $65,000 FAIP grant allows Micah 6 Community to implement a new commercial kitchen, a food co-op creating Pontiac s first new grocery store in around 10 years, and a small farm market creating six new jobs increasing their ability to provide local farm produce. The project will also support small farmers by creating a place where they can deliver products, interface with customers, meet food entrepreneurs, and put their products on shelves.

This project creates a bridge to bring much needed produce and healthy foods into the community as well as support the growing food entrepreneur in the Pontiac area.

"Pontiac sits in the heart of Oakland County, and we believe can serve as the meeting place of our cities and farms, our growers, and consumers. Our vision for this center will be a place that brings these elements together to spark a food business renaissance in our city and across the community,"  said Coleman Yoakum, founder and executive director at Micah 6 Community. "We are grateful for the partnership with MDARD and that they see this future as well."

Hartford Farm Supply, LLC was founded in December of 1997 and originally focused on dry good storage for food processors in Southwest Michigan. Over the past 26 years, the company shifted focus to providing controlled atmosphere (CA) storage to apple growers in the region and currently has CA storage capacity to support approximately 200,000 bushels of apples. Controlled atmosphere storage is used to extend the storage life of perishable produce, necessary for ensuring a year-round supply of products including apples.

With the $60,000 in FAIP funding from MDARD, Hartford Farm Supply will increase CA storage capacity by 33 percent in West Michigan to supporting the state's growers and packers of fresh Michigan apples while creating two new jobs and helping retain 35 existing jobs.  

"Apple storage has become one of the leading factors when deciding on new or expanded apple plantings here in southwest Michigan," said Jason Meachum, Finance Manager. "We are grateful to partner with MDARD with this project and are excited to be able to extend the packing and marketing season for local apples."

For more information about MDARD grants, visit


Media Contact: