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Gov. Whitmer announces transportation economic development grant that will support soybean producers in Tuscola County

September 19, 2019 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded a state transportation economic development fund grant that will support eight new jobs in Tuscola County. The Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant totaling $120,000 will help leverage $10 million in private investment, at a private/public investment ratio of more than 83-to-1.

Quality Roasting, LLC, is a producer of high-quality soybean products for the dairy industry. The company is constructing a new facility on Bradleyville Road in Gilford Township that will receive, heat, and press raw soybeans to extract the crude oil. The remaining soybean meal will then be processed into feed for dairy cattle. The facility is expected to process approximately 2.2 million bushels of soybeans annually.

"I am pleased that we were able to work with Quality Roasting and our local partners to support the transportation needs of the company's expansion," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "This underscores the link between transportation investments and economic development. As a state, we need to invest more in our roads so that employees have safe routes to work and companies have unimpeded access to markets."  

The Bradleyville Road location, with its convenient access to raw materials and the state trunkline system, was selected over competing sites in New York and Wisconsin. However, the condition of Bradleyville Road presented an obstacle to the company's development plans. The pavement is nearing the end of its operational life and the increase in traffic generated by Quality Roasting's freight shipments will accelerate this deterioration, effectively shortening the life span of this roadway.

To assure continued access to the transportation network and enable full truck loads during seasonal weight restrictions, the Tuscola County Road Commission (TCRC) will resurface Bradleyville Road from Gilford Road to M-81. This work will enable Quality Roasting, LLC, to proceed with their $10 million development, resulting in eight new full-time positions.

"Quality Roasting, LLC, greatly appreciates MDOT's approval of a grant to fund surface improvements to Bradleyville Road," said Jeff Laverty, site manager for Quality Roasting, LLC. "With the increased truck traffic generated by our new soybean crushing facility in Gilford Township, these improvements will be extremely beneficial not only to Quality Roasting, LLC, but also to the community in general. It's another example of the welcoming partnerships we have experienced here in Tuscola County and with the State of Michigan."

The overall cost of this project is $374,753, including $120,000 in TEDF Category A funding and $254,753 from the TCRC.

Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, the TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers.

TEDF "Category A" or "Targeted Industries Program" grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at