LANSING —The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell announced this week 20 projects that will be awarded funds under the competitive Value Added and Regional Food System Grant Program. MDARD received 94 proposals with requests totaling nearly $8.5 million. The $1.8 million in grants for the 20 projects will leverage more than $12 million in private investments.
“Clearly, Michigan remains committed to partnering with its food and agriculture businesses, as well as the towns, villages, and cities they call home," McDowell said in a statement. "When people talk of economic growth and job creation, they often think of large companies and corporations, but the truth is, it’s the sum of all the small- and mid-sized businesses that employ the most people and help the most communities thrive. So, we’re proud to use the resources we have to incentivize even more private investments in the great state of Michigan.”
- Allen Market Place, operated by Allen Neighborhood Center (Lansing) – $79,216. Expanding the Veggie Box Program and Shared-Use Kitchens to Strengthen Mid-Michigan's Food System.
- Battle Creek Unlimited (Battle Creek) – $125,000. Tiger Room Accelerator Kitchen Project.
- Escanaba Downtown Development Authority (Escanaba) – $80,000. Escanaba Market Place Shared Use Kitchen Project.
- Fluffy Bottom Farms (Chelsea) – $73,000. Equipment Improvement and Market Expansion Proposal.
- Food Entrepreneur Accelerator & Startup Terminal LLC (d.b.a. FEAST Detroit) (Inkster) – $120,000. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Line for Contract Manufacturing Refrigerated Entrees and Condiments in HPP Ready Containers.
- Gallagher’s Vineyard & Winery (d.b.a. Rove Estate) (Traverse City) – $125,000. Gallagher's Vineyard & Winery Corp (d.b.a. Rove Estate) Production Facility.
- JNelson Farms (Hope) – $40,390. Expanding Permanent and Mobile Frozen Storage.
- Lazy Ballerina Winery LLC (Saint Joseph) – $30,000. Winery Production Expansion to Process Michigan Grapes and Fruit.
- McClure’s Pickles LLC (Detroit) – $90,000. Increase Pickle Production in Southeast Michigan.
- Michigan Bean Commission (Frankenmuth) – $125,000. An Innovative Milling Technology to Enhance Competitive Advantages and Long-Term Sustainability for Michigan Dry Beans.
- Next Phase Enterprises (Hillman) – $94,800. Establish Commercial Dry Bean and Hemp Flour Production Line to Expand Markets for Michigan Crops.
- North Bay Produce (Traverse City) – $125,000. Purchase Compostable Packaging Equipment for Blueberries.
- North River Distillery LLC (Jackson) – $18,600. Increase Efficiencies to Make North River Vodka Production More Economically Feasible.
- Oomen Brothers Inc. (Hart) – $100,000. Install Broccoli Floret Process Line to Meet Market for Domestic Frozen Product.
- Pop Daddy Popcorn LLC (Whitmore Lake) – $125,000. Automation and Expansion of Popcorn and Pretzel Packaging Capabilities.
- River Rouge Brewing Company LLC (Oak Park) – $100,000. Oak Park Expansion – The Birth of Unexpected Craft.
- Superior Sales Inc. (Hudsonville) – $125,000. Superior Sales Celery Processing Project.
- T&K King Fisheries Inc. (Moran) – $24,000. Increasing Icemaking Capacity for Tribal Fisherman.
- TCB Food Processing LLC (Bangor) – $125,000. Increase and Expand Processing and Co-Packing Capacity.
- TCWC LLC, d.b.a. Traverse City Whiskey Company (Traverse City) – $125,000. Purchase Equipment for Improving Value-Added Production of Michigan Cherries and Spirits.
MDARD promotes and manages several competitive grant programs through the Agriculture Development Division. More about these programs can be found at www.michigan.gov/mdardgrants.