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Governor Whitmer Announces Grants to Assist Farmers with Specialty Crops


November 9, 2021  

Contact: Jennifer Holton, 


Governor Whitmer Announces Grants to Assist Farmers with Specialty Crops 


LANSING, Mich. -Today, Governor Whitmer joins Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell to announce the state's recipients of the 2021 U.S. Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.?This program offers federal funding to state departments of agriculture to support the specialty crop industry.  


"I appreciate USDA's?commitment to?investing in?Michigan's?robust?food and agriculture sector," said Governor?Gretchen Whitmer. "These grants are a win-win for our farmers, producers, distributors and consumers as we look to increase access to Pure Michigan food and agriculture. I appreciate the USDA and Senator Stabenow's leadership to secure this critical funding in support of Michigan's vibrant specialty crop industry." 


"The programs supported by these federal grants helps strengthen local and statewide distribution channels giving Michigan's specialty crop farmers access to more markets and supporting the Governor's New Michigan Economy plan," said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. "The grants focus on marketing, training, certifications, food safety, pest control, and plant health for specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, plants and/or flowers. Additionally, this funding enhances the competitiveness of the state's specialty crops."  


"Michigan leads the nation in the production of many fruits and vegetables and is second in diversity of our crops only to California.  Our fruits, vegetables and nursery crops are not only a source of great pride - they are critical to our state's economy." said Senator Stabenow. "This new support is a big win for Michigan agriculture.  It will help our farmers keep their competitive edge and continue to provide healthy fruits and vegetables to American families." 


Below is the list of grantees:? 


Project Title 


Awarded Amount 

Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board 

Increasing the Productivity of Michigan Asparagus Through Sustainable Disease Management Tactics 



Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board 

Taking Asparagus Disease Management into the Future with Real-Time, in-Field Sensor Data 



Michigan Bean Commission 

Enhanced Strategies to Communicate the Value of Michigan Dry Beans:  Conventional and Digital Educational Programs to Increase Bean Consumption for Today's Health-Conscious Consumers. 



Michigan Bean Commission 

Identification of Improved Dry Bean Varieties, Maturities, and Integrated Weed Management Systems: Managing Production for an Evolving Market Place 



Michigan Blueberry Growers Association 

Researching Efficacy of Growing Blueberries in In-Ground Containers Through On-Farm Trials 

Grand Junction 


Michigan Carrot Industry Development Program 

Advancing Weed Management in Michigan Carrots through Novel Cultural, Electrical, and Physical Approaches 



Michigan Carrot Industry Development Program 

Evaluating and Disseminating Soil Amendment Practices to Mitigate Heavy Metal Uptake by Carrot 



Michigan Cherry Committee 

Branding Montmorency Tart Cherries with a Geographical Indication: Legal and Consumer Research and Development 



Michigan Craft Beverage Council 

Specialty Crop Grower Directory for the Michigan Craft Beverage Industry 



Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association 

New Herbicides and New Uses for Michigan Nursery Shrub Containers 



Michigan Onion Committee 

Combining Pest Control Strategies to Increase Quality of Yield of Michigan Onions 

St. Johns  


Michigan Potato Industry Commission 

Climate Resilience in Potato:  Field and Storage Assessment 

East Lansing 


Michigan State Horticultural Society 

Improving Grape Berry Moth Management in Michigan Vineyards 

Benton Harbor 


Michigan Tree Fruit Commission 

Characterizing Apple Storage Practices and Potential Risk of Listeria Contamination 



Michigan Vegetable Council 

Getting to the Root of the Problem: Increasing Vegetable Plant Establishment and Productivity 

St. Johns  


Michigan Vegetable Council 

Advancing Agbot and Drone Technologies for Sustainable Soil and Weed Management in Michigan Vegetables. 

St. Johns  


West Central Michigan Horticultural Research, Inc. 

Finding Solutions to Cherry Orchard Replant Disorder Using Chemical and Organic Amendments 



MDARD International Program 

International and Domestic Promotion of Michigan Specialty Crops 




For more information about the program, visit and