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Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development Overview

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development: At a Glance

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is comprised of six divisions that use a customer-driven, solution-oriented approach to cultivate and expand new economic opportunities for the food and agricultural sector; safeguard the public’s food supply; inspect and enforce sound animal health practices; control and eradicate plant pests and diseases threatening the $104.7 billion food and agriculture system; preserve the environment by which the farming community makes their living and feeds consumers; and protect consumers by enforcing laws relating to weights and measures.

Agriculture Development Division (AgD)
The Agriculture Development Division delivers expertise and leadership to support economic prosperity in Michigan’s food and agriculture sector through industry focused economic development, export assistance and grant management. The division also provides executive support for the Craft Beverage Council and serves as the liaison with Michigan’s many agriculture commodity groups.

  • Economic development assistance for food and agriculture companies
  • International Marketing and business export assistance
  • Economic development grants
  • Michigan Craft Beverage Council
  • Agriculture Commodity Organizations
  • Producer Security

Animal Industry Division (AID)
The Animal Industry Division is responsible for programs that control and eradicate reportable, contagious, infectious, and communicable diseases of livestock, poultry, aquaculture, equine and companion animals; controlling contamination of animals from toxic substances; enforcing and supporting the humane treatment of animals; and promoting Michigan’s animal industries.

  • Animal health and disease response
  • Pet shelter licensing
  • Animal import/export health certificates
  • Privately owned cervid operations
  • Bovine tuberculosis

Environmental Stewardship Division (ESD)
The Environmental Stewardship Division provides migrant labor housing inspections, conflict resolution through the Right to Farm program, assistance and support to soil conservation districts, drain commissioners, and other land users, enabling them to carry out programs that maintain economically viable and environmentally friendly land uses.

  • MI Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP)
  • Intercounty drains
  • Right to Farm
  • Migrant labor housing
  • Qualified forest program

Executive Office
The Executive Office is responsible for policy development, strategic planning, daily operations, and more. The following department functions also fall under the Executive Office:

  • Budget
  • Emergency Management
  • FOIA
  • Office of Legal Affairs
  • Legislative Liaison
  • Communications
  • Office of Organizational Innovation (encompassing IT support, performance management, and safety)

Food and Dairy Division (FDD)
The Food and Dairy Division administers programs to enforce laws and regulations governing the safety and wholesomeness of food and food products; responds to food safety complaints, recalls, and food emergencies; serves as a key link in the federal-state-local food safety system; assists in the food safety education of consumers, regulators, and industry; and assures the interstate movement of milk and dairy products.

  • Grocery and convenience store inspections
  • Dairy inspections
  • Food and dairy processing (new and expanding) business assistance
  • Food and dairy processor inspections
  • Food recalls
  • Certificate of free sale so businesses can export processed products to global markets

Laboratory Division (Lab)
The Laboratory Division helps safeguard consumers every day – whether it be at the gas pump or ensuring our food is pathogen free. As part of MDARD’s regulatory programs, the Lab tests for various food and feed pathogens, provides diagnostic testing, ensures the quality and quantity of gas being sold, prevents economic fraud by looking for credit card skimmers, and ensures packages contain the amount of product they claim. Their efforts continue to protect public health, preserve the integrity of the food safety net and ensure consumers are safe at the pump.

  • Microbiological testing
  • Weights and measures (ensuring packages contain the amount they claim, including scales)
  • Motor fuel quality and quantity testing (making sure the gas sold is the proper octane, and getting the amount consumers are paying for)
  • Drug residue testing
  • Disease (foodborne pathogen testing like e. coli or animal diseases)

Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division (PPPMD)
The Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division administers programs to prevent the introduction of invasive pests and plant diseases; the adulteration of animal food, unsanitary grain storage facilities, and misuse of pesticides; and provides assurance that animal feeds, fertilizers, and pesticides are registered and accurately labeled. PPPMD provides grading, inspection, and certification of a variety of commodities including nursery stock, fruits and vegetables.

  • Animal feed testing (including pet food)
  • Fertilizer testing
  • Grain dealer audits
  • Pesticide registration
  • Exotic pest survey and response (like emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle)
  • Fruit and vegetable inspections
  • Export assistance through phytosanitary certificates so businesses can ship product out to global markets
  • Nursery and plant inspections to ensure they are disease and pest free
  • Farm Produce Insurance Authority